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-IC'ION I-JITOR -:05E="S-z: __ 
DIRECTS ;":F ADVER" E .'."■ -I T 1 ." -".-.I 

Vienna's master oi (aplastic 
realism Rudolf Hausner produced 
the cover art far this month's Omni. 
Laocoon in Orbii. done in tempera 
mixed with resin-and mounted on 
Novopan sheet, visualizes the 
singularity oi progress and space. 
Born in 1914, Hausner has been 
painting for 50 years. 





Bernard Dixon 







John J. Berger 



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Bernard Dixon 




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Pster Evans 



The Arts 




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Roben L Forward 




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By- Dr. Bernard Dixon 

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Focusing on a controversial topic 
this month in "Cartographer of 
Consciousness" (page 54). Brian 

Van der Horst profiles the work of 
experimental psychologist Ronald K. 
Siegel. Van der Horst traces the scientific 
study of hallucinogens and their effects on 

human consciousness as recounted by 
trained "psychonauts." With a mischie- 
vous tinge in his voice, Van der Horst. 
author of more than 1 ,000 articles and 
several books, admits that he finds 
Timothy Leary-like quests and other 
drug-related research "passionately 
intriguing." "Drugs are part of the essential 
fabric of our society," Van der Horst says. 
"They're what make us human. There is 
not a human being alive who has not 
employed some consciousness-altering 
drug, be it alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, 
or whatever." 

Van der Horst cites intense scientific 
investigation of drug potential as the first 
step toward societal "enlightenment." The 
author himself was once involved in drug 
research; he began his diversified career 
as a marine biologist, studying alkaloids. If 
asked to volunteer for psychonaut duty, 
Van der Horst says he would gladly par- 
ticipate in the adventure. 

Writer Dean Ing worships efficiency, 
While a young aerospace engineer, 
he was struck by the faulty engineering ot 
standard cars. "I knew damned well cars 
could be designed a lot better than they 
were," Ing says. "Any number of people 
could do better than the auto industry." So 

Ing took a stab at it himself, creating the 
Magnum GT Coupe. His article 
"Accelerations" (page 44) stresses the 
functional aerodynamic designs that 
American and foreign auto companies 
must soon adopt. "The American com- 
panies are pressed almost to the wall right 
now," says Ing. "They are beginning to 
recognize the significance of the fuel 
crunch and the recession." According to 
Ing, American Motors will be the new 
trendsetter as it shares ideas with Renault, 
creator of the futuristic EVE sedan. 
Besides designing survival equipment, 
Ing has written two novels, as well as three 
short stories for Omni. 

"I'm a frustrated professor. That's why I 
write," says Dr: Robert L. Forward. The 
physicist, who has written several articles 
for Omni during the past year, has just 
completed his first novel. Dragon's Egg 
(Ballantine), published in May of this year. 
The novel is about tiny, dense, intelligent 
creatures on the surface of a neutron star 
who live and think a million times faster 
than Ihe humans who study them.The 
story concerns the attempts of the two 
cultures to communicate on converging 
orbits despite immense differences in their 
rates of thinking. "Life on a Neutron Star" 
(page 60) is a synthesis of Dr. Forward's 
notes for the novel, which are also incor- 
porated into the book's 5,000-word, 
14-diagram appendix. 

This month's Earth column, "Greening 
the Seashore" (page 16). is by renowned 
environmentalist John J. Berger. Author 

of Nuclear Power: The Unviable Option 
(Dell, 1979), Berger recently published a . 
detailed analysis of the emergency re- 
sponse to the Three Mile Island nuclear 
accident for a German news anthology. 
Employed by the Lawrence Berkeley 
Laboratory, Berger has served as an en- 
ergy consultant to several organizations 
and has testified on energy issues before 
federal and state agencies. 

Robert Silverberg ("Our Lady of the 
Sauropods," page 50) first appeared on 
the science-fiction horizon in the 1950s. 
During the last 20 years he has produced 
a seemingly endless stream of books. 
Winner of four Nebula awards and two 
Hugos, Silverberg also served as 
president ol the Science Fiction Writers of 
America. His more notable works include 
Nightwings (1969), Tower of Glass (1970), 
Dying Inside (1972), and most recently 
Lord Valentine's Castle (1980). 

Joining Silverberg this monfh is British 
author Bob Shaw ("In the Hereafter Hilton," 
page 80). An enthusiastic reader of 
science fiction since childhood, Shaw 
fried his hand at writing when he was 
twenty and sold his first short story to the 
New York Post. After an absence of several 
years he returned to writing in 1966 with 
"Light of Other Days," one of the most 
anthologized short stories in science 
fiction. In 1967 he produced his first novel, 
Night Walk. Since then Shaw has averaged 
a book a year, one of which, Orbitsville, 
won the British Science Fiction Award for 
Best Novel of 1975. DO 





In her article "Psychographics" [July 
1980] Bibi Wein confesses that "the ad- 
vertising community's reaction was VGry 
negative" toward brain-wave analysis. Yet 
the author apparently ignored the moral 
subtleties involved. 

The larger issue of increasing control 
over public opinion is a complex one and 
must be caretully evaluated. Where do we 
draw the line between advertising and 
brainwashing? To what extent do we want 
our attitudes scientifically mass-molded? 

Propaganda campaigns can lead to 
frightening conformity and a dangerous 
lack of individual thought, whether ihey 
are conducted in Russia, Nazi Germany 
or McCarthy Era America. Brain-wave 
analysis may constitute great progress 
in advertising, but we cannot allow 
technology to destroy the freedom of 
individual thought. 

Laura Collins 
Winthrop, Mass. 

Bufo Buffoons 

Say it's truel Tell us there really are giant 
flying vampire toads [Last Word, June 
1980]! It's about time we fought back 
against the weak-kneed hypocrisy of 
today's conservationists. Slobbering, 
slimy green things have rights, too. 

Where can we obtain more information 
about our brothers and sisters the vam- 
pire toads? Here in Athens we have been 
waiting for a worthy cause that we 
could sink our teeth into. Save the toads! 
Athens Friends of the Toads 
Athens, Ga. 

I read Norman Spinrad's Last Word 
concerning the giant flying vampire toad 
(possibly Bute acodsucKus?) with a great 
deal of enlightenment. 

One solution to the problem of their 
extinction would be to relocate them 
to a similar habitat in one of the OPEC 
nations. After all, turnabout is fair play 

Ray Hermann 
Slidell, La. 

Not only may the giant Hying vampire toad 
be important as the ultimate ecological 

awareness test, but it may also be from 
another world. A U.S. spacecraft carrying 
one from a distant world returned to Earth 
last year with an alien on board looking 
much like the toad. We may be destroying 
the last of a species from another planet. It 
may be the only species like it in a billion 
worlds, including our own. 

Sieve Conklin 
Las Vegas, Nev. 

Re: "Save the Toad!" 
Confucius say, "He who puts tongue in 

cheek should beware of biting sarcasm." 
Suzanne J. Helder 
Gulfport, Miss. 

Because of the overwhelming response 
Omni has received from television and 
radio stations, newspapers, and libraries, 
nationwide, the Environmental Protection 
Agency has asked us to report that it has 
failed in its efforts to arrest the precipitous 
decline of the flying vampire toad. Golfing 
welfare recipients seem unwilling to serve 
as hosts fo the ornery bloodsuckers. — Ed. 

Equal Time 

Omni quoted Sir George Porter as saying, 
"If sunbeams were weapons of war, we 
would have had solar energy centuries 
ago" [Continuum, June 1980], 

In light of the nuclear-energy debate 
now going on, I would add the following: 
". . .and antisolar organizations." 

S. W. Peters 
Potomac, Md. 

Women in Space 

In general I have found Omni to be a 
refreshing look at the future through the 
eyes of the present. Although I have 
disagreed with some of the contributors' 
viewpoints, they have been food for 
thought, sometimes helping me to clarify 
my own opinions. 

I was quite pleased also that here at last 
was a nonsexisl scioncs/scionce-fiction 

I wait in vain for NASA to have "staffed" 
missions instead of "manned" ones, but 
NASA is a government agency with its 
roots in the military. 

J PAGE 120 


In which the readers, editors, and 
correspondents discuss topics arising out 
of Ornni and theories and speculation o! 
general interest are brought forth. The 
views published are not necessarily those 
of the editors. Letters for publication 
should be mailed to Omni Forum, Omni 
Magazine, 909 Third Avenue, New York, 
NY 10022. 

Not a Religion? 

Roane Dantzler and Gregory Trulen insist 
that TM is not religious [Forum. June 
1980]. Maybe they are loo close to the 
(orest to see the trees. 

No one who reads TM "founder Maha- 
rishi Mahesh Yogi's book Transcendental 
Meditation (Signet, 1968) can fail to 
recognize that TM is religious in both 
theory and practice. The initiation puja is a 
Sanskrit prayer to Hindu deities. Most, if 
not all, ottheTM mantras are the names of 
Hindu deities. As explained by the 
maharishi, meditation a la TM is a religious 
act analogous to Christian prayer or 

Further, on February 2, 1979, the U.S. 
Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, up-» 
holding a lower court ruling, thai TM is so 
religious that it cannot be taught or pro- 
moted in public schools (Malnak v. Maha- 
rishi Mahesh Yogi). The TMers did nof opt 
to appeal the case any higher. 

Edd Doerr 

Director, Educational Relations 

Americans United for Separation 

of Church and State 

Silver Spring, Md. 

I recently visited Maharishi International 
University, in Fairfield, Iowa, to lecture 
about theories of the mind. The TM 
movement respects science, and [its 
practitioners] have good evidence that TM 
induces a brain state different from sleep 
or other common conditions. On this is 
built an elaborate dogmatic belief that TM 
connects one with a fundamental con- 
sciousness that pervades the entire 

TMers collect evidence that would 
prove that when a group meditates 
together, the crime rate declines in the 


neignbo'hood. Wrier- . asked the assem- 
bled faculty and students whether there 
was a single such experiment that 
did not so succeed, Ihere was a long, 
unembarrassed silence. "If it's true, why 
should there be any confrary evidence?" 
The students I met could not yet levitate. 
but they expected to do so soon: others 
could, they said, bul they would not do it 
merely to impress a visitor. 

TMers reward each other for being pos- 
itive and unconsciously learn to suppress 
evidence contrary to their ideas. I tried 
to explain that good scientists are 
as suspicious of evidence thai is too good 
as- of that which is too bad. Science and 
religion are not so different in the end. 
except science the ultimate sin 
is believing too strongly. 

Marvin Minsky 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Cambridge, Mass. 

Project Private Enterprise 

In Omn/'s Competition column [June 
1980] it was disclosed that the idea most 
commonly suggested for a prize offering 
was that a completely privately sponsored 
astronaut be launched into earth orbit. 

Kathleen Stein contributed an excellent 
piece in the October 1979 issue of Omni 
on Robert C. Truax, of Saratoga, 
California. Mr. Truax. the father of the 

Volksrocket. firs! step to manned flights. 

Polaris program, has spent five years 
developing suborbital vehicles to carry the 
world's first private astronaut. 

As a direct result of Ms. Stein's article, a 
group of about 40 Chicago businessmen 
has joined Truax in the formation of Project 
Private Enterprise, Inc. His dream has 
now become a distinct reality. 

PPE, America's newest aerospace cor- 
poration, has scheduled its first manned 
launch for the fall of 1981. Once this is 
accomplished, Truax will have esiablished 
the solid economic concepts of space 
development thaf he has espoused 
throughout his splendid career. These 
concepts include simplicity of design, 
tofal vehicle reusability, and use of proven 
surplus components. We will truly prove 
that space is available not only to private 
industry but to the individual in his 
backyard as well. 

John J. Oelerich 

Project Private Enterprise 

Burbank. Calif. 

At the end of June, Truax ran a static firing 
test in which the rocket was held down 
while the engines were tired. During the 
test the engines developed some 4,000 
pounds of thrust, enough to propel the 
rocket at 2,500 mph. While this is not fast 
enough to attain an orbit (escape velocity 
is 17,000 mphj, His fast enough tor the 
15-minute suborbital flight planned. We will 
watch the program as it develops and will 
keep readers informed of progress. — Ed. 

Challenging the Randi Challenge 

James Randi's offer of $10,000 for a valid 
"psychic" feat thai cannot be accom- 
plished by "existing technical means" 
[Interview, April 1980] seems generous, 
but it is really a double-edged sword. Alas! 
Would that I had S10.000 to offer Mr. Randi 
for nothing more than an example of any 
feat that cquld not be accomplished by 
ex s:mg technical means! 

Cynicism aside, you cannot approach a 
phenomenon from the backside, Suppose 
a psychic were to set a steel ball on a 
tabletop and, after four hours of intense 
concentration, cause it to roll one quarter 
of an inch. The scientific implications of 




.By John J. 

Immense primordial forests. Elk and 
panthers. Fragrant tall-grass prairies. 
Vast flocks of wild geese. Sweet-tasting 
streams. Endless kilometers of productive 
wetlands. Shores full of oysters, clams, 
and crabs. North America, before the 
Europeans came. 

With each generation, the memory of 
mankind's environmental heritage dims. 
Some of us forget how the air should smell, 
how the land should be. A few scientists 
have not forgotten. One of them is Dr. 
Edgar W Garbisch, Jr., a chemist turned 
restoration biologist who, by reconstruct- 
ing our ravaged coastlines and wetlands, 
is charting a course for the future. 

Dr. Garbisch helped pioneer the infant 
science of resource restoration. The idea 
is simple: Take one eroding marsh, truck in 
landfill, plant thousands of seedlings, and 
then watch them grow. 

It may sound simple, but Garbisch's first 
planting, for instance, was destroyed by 
Hurricane Agnes. A passing flock of 
Canadian geese devoured another 
planting. But when conditions are right, 
the technique works very well indeed. 

Why reclaim salt marshes 7 Biologically, 
they are among the most productive areas 
on Earth. More than five metric tons of 
useful organic matter is generated on 
each hectare— about twice as much as a 
cornfield. Marshes form the base of an 
entire pyramid of food, supporting 
bacteria, algae, and plankton on up to 
simple invertebrates, mollusks, shore 
birds, mammals, and— finally— humans. 
Destroying a marsh destroys this food web 
at its source; the ripple effect is enormous. 
Even remote ocean fisheries are affected 
when a marsh is destroyed: More than half 
of all commercially useful fish live in 
coastal waters or use coastal marshes as 
nurseries, hatcheries, spawning grounds, 
or feeding grounds. 

As a boy, Ed Garbisch spent his sum- 
mers on Chesapeake Bay and later 
bought a home on the bay. One year he 
decided to try to reconstruct the marsh- 
land in front of his home. After hand- 
transplanting cordgrass seedlings (a type 
of marsh plant native to the Chesapeake), 
he sat back to wait. 

Within months the plants began to take 

Fulure generations n 
16 OMNI 

if natural heritage through the 

root and slowly collect sediments. As more 
silt was trapped, the plants elevated 
themselves out of the water, adding new 
land to the shore. 

Buoyed by his initial success, Garbisch 
persuaded the Nature Conservancy to 
fund a larger project. From there it was a 
short step to Environmental Concern, Inc., 
a nonprofit organization formed by Gar- 
bisch to deal exclusively with reclamation. 
Within the next few years he perfected his 
techniques and supervised 40 of 105 
marsh-restoration projects in the United 
States. All butfive were successful. 

The new marshes are popular with a 
wide range of users: government 
agencies, educational organizations, 
environmental groups, public utilities, and 
private citizens. Some property owners 
use the marshes to protect their waterfront 
land from erosion or to enhance its 
appearance and value. 

Public utilities are especially interested 
in restoration. "They are obliged to agree 
to it," Garbisch explains, "because 
otherwise they can't get state and federal 
permits to build in wetland areas. Rerout- 
ing a pipeline seventy-five kilometers 
around a wetland could cost a utility 
millions of dollars." 

Because his environmental tampering 
sometimes makes life easier for large 
corporations, Garbisch occasionally 
provokes controversy. Restored habitats 
may not be biologically identical to what 
was there before, despite surface 
similarities. It's better never to disturb a 
marsh, instead of devastating and later 
repairing it. Even Garbisch's critics agree, 
however, that once wetlands have been 
obliterated, marsh restoration is the only 
way to transform barren wastelands into 
useful resources again. 

The large-scale use of restoration 
technology like Ed Garbisch's must wait 
until the process is recognized as a major 
political and social priority. In the mean- 
time, while the debate rages on, the 
marshes built by Environmental Concern 
will flourish. And future generations — 
whose images of pristine America will be 
fainter than ourown — can relive the wilder- 
ness as it once was, and soon will be. DO 


By Dr. Bernard Dixon 

|^^J etween 1 872 and 1 885 Nature 
I^^Kpublished 19 papers on sea 
l^^wserpents. A century later, despite 
its editor's decision in 1975 to print Sir 
Peter Scott's paper that gave a taxonomic 
name to the Loch Ness monster, the 
scientific journal no longer deals with such 
creatures. In the 1980s sea serpents are 
pretty much beyond the pale, It is doubtful 
that this year's crop of sightings will be 
paid serious consideration by any 
reputable academic journal. 

Why? Is it because previous claims have 
been shown to be bogus? Has the number 
of reports dwindled, gone the way of such 
other nineteenth-century fancies as tables 
and chajrs that jerk across the room on 
their own accord? 

The answer is no. And yet the literature 
keeps on accumulating. If a sea serpent 
(or the carcass of one) were actually 
discovered, volumes of source material 
would be available to help investigators 
pursue their inquiries. As the history of 
other bizarre phenomena shows, the fact 
that much of this information is contained 
in popular rather than technical publi- 

cations does not invalidate it. Consider 
ball lightning. Most descriptions of this 
phenomenon are anecdotal rather than 
objective. They appear in diaries and 
biographies, not in scholarly periodicals. 
Yet scientists generally agree that ball 
lightning exists. 

The analogy of ball lightning comes 
forcibly to mind through the work of one 
whose life interest 'has been sea serpents. 
Professor Ron Westrum, of Eastern 
Michigan University, is not in pursuit ot his 
prey per se. What fascinates him is the 
way extraordinary claims are advanced 
and assessed. Tales of sea serpents are a 
particularly challenging example and thus 
have become the focus of his research, 
Already Westrum has exposed some 
misconceptions concerning the origins of 
reports about such putative animals. 
Although we may remain as skeptical as 
before, we are forced to concede that the 
case for sea serpent sightings ought to be 
taken seriously 

The publication of Professor Westrum's 
survey in a recent book suggests that a 
community of investigators is already 

Sea serpen!: legendary beast or real phenomenon? S/g 
18 OMNI 

operating free of the constraints that 
rightly fetter most mainstream scientific 
research. On the Margins of Science, 
edited by Roy Wallis {Keele University 
Press, Staffordshire, England), contains 
several surveys, on subjects ranging from 
acupuncture to ufoiogy, thai indicate a 
more generous, though still critical, 
approach to "rejected knowledge." 

Westrum defines a sea serpent as "any 
large, elongated marine creature of an 
apparently unknown species." The earliest 
reports (other than folk tales) were made in 
1 755. But the first serious scientific inves- 
tigations were stimulated by sightings off 
the Massachusetts coast from 181 7 to 
1819. They, and other observations from 
the British ship Daedalus, provoked a 
scientific controversy that continued until 
the end of the nineteenth century. 

If we turn from the literature spawned 
by this debate to the original reports on 
which it was based, one interesting fact 
emerges. Sea serpent sightings occur on 
an average of three a year— a rate that has 
remained constant since 1800. In view of 
the massive growth of population over this 
period, this is a remarkable finding. 

Westrum examined the claim that 
newspapers, influenced by the summer 
"silly season," publish and thereby 
stimulate batches of sea serpent reports 
at that time of the year. Summer does turn 
out to be the period when most sightings 
are alleged, more than the other seasons 
combined, Yet the peak times for sea ser- 
pent siories are spring and fall. Many reports 
are retrospective; the tfms of publication 
is thus irrelevant. Sightings are summer 
phenomena, not simply a response 
to the whims of newspaper editors. 

Westrum's analysis also shows that 
information concerning these creatures 
continues to grow, in fits and starts, but It 
does grow. This pattern is not unlike a 
scientific discipline evolving toward 
maturity. And the fact that individual 
scientists seldom consult witness 
accounts when making up their own 
minds about curiosa does not mean 
they do not exist. All that awaits their 
legitimization is the discovery of a real 
specimen, dead or alive. OQ 

How to write with style 


International Pajic-r ud^d Kuu \bnnegut, author 
ofsuchntweluu "Sidit S 'h<nii<>u^-Fivc," "Jailbird" 
and "Cat's Cradle, " imell you hi mi w put your 
styk and personality mm everything you write. 

Newspaper reporters and technical 
writers are trained to reveal almost 
nothing about themselves in 
their writings. This makes them 
freaks in the world of writers, since 
almost all of the other ink-stained 
wretches in that world reveal a lot 
about themselves to readers. We 
call these revelations, accidental 
and intentional, elements of style. 

These revelations tell us as 
readers what sort of person it is 
with whom we are spending time. 
Does the writer sound ignorant or 
informed, stupid or bright, crooked 
or honest, humorless or playful - ? 
And on and on. 

Why should you examine your 
writing style with the idea of im- 
proving it? Do so as a mark of re- 
spect for your readers, whatever 
you're writing. If you scribble your 
thoughts any which way, your 
readers will surely feel that you care 
nothing about them. They will 
mark you down as an egomaniac 
or a chowderhead -or, worse, they 
will stop reading you. 

The most damning revelation 
you can make about yourself is that 
you do not know what is inter- 
esting and what is not. Don't you 
yourself like or dislike writers 

mainly for what they choose to 
show you or make you think about? 
Did you ever admire an empty- 
headed writer for his or her mastery 
of the language? No. 

So your own winning style must 
begin with ideas in your head. 

1 . Find a subject you care about 

Find a subject you care about 
and which you in your heart feel 
others should care about. It is this 
genuine caring, and not your 
games with language, which will 
be the most compelling and seduc- 
tive element in your style. 

I am not urging you to write a 
novel, by the way - although I 
would not be sorry if you wrote 
one, provided you genuinely cared 
about something. A petition to the 
' mayor about a pothole in front 
of your house or a love letter to 
the girl next door will do. 

2. Do not ramble, though 

I won't ramble on about that. 
3. Keep it simple 

As for your use of language: 
Remember that two great masters 
of language, William Shakespeare 
and James Joyce, wrote sentences 
which were almost childlike 
when their subjects were most 
profound. "To be or not to be?' 
asks Shakespeare's Hamlet. 
The longest word is three 
letters long. Joyce, when he 
was frisky, could put 
together a sentence 
as intricate and as 
glittering as a neck- 
lace for Cleopatra, 
but my favorite 
sentence in his short 
story "Eveline" is this 
one: "She was tired." 
At that point in the 
story, no other words 
could break the heart 
of a reader as those 

three words do. "Keep it simple. Shakesbe, 

Simplicity of language is not 
only reputable, but perhaps even 
sacred. The Bible opens with a 
sentence well within the writing 
skills of a lively fourteen- year-old: 
"In the beginning God created the 
heaven and the earth." 

4. Have the guts to cut 

It may be that you, too, are 
capable of making necklaces for 
Cleopatra, so to speak. But your 
eloquence should be the servant of 
the ideas in your head. Your rule 
might be this: If a sentence, no 
matter how excellent, does not il- 
luminate your subject in some 
new and useful way, scratch it out. 

5. Sound (ike yourself 

The writing style which is most 
natural for you is bound to echo 
the speech you heard when a child. 
English was the novelist Joseph 
Conrad's third language, and much 
that seems piquant in his use of 
English was no doubt colored by 
his first language, which was Pol- 
ish. And lucky indeed is the writer 
who has grown up in Ireland, for 
the English spoken there is so 
amusing and musical. 1 myself grew 

up in Indianapolis, 
'Should l V ~ > V, w here common 
speech sounds 
like a band 

your nibjeet in sdiui' n-.-\e and uwfid way, s 

and employs a vocabulary as unor- 
namental as a monkey wrench. 

In some of the more remote 
hollows of Appalachia, children 
still grow up hearing songs and lo- 
cutions of Elizabethan times. Yes, 
and many Americans grow up 
hearing a language other than 
English, or an English dialect a 
majority of Americans cannot un- 

All these varieties of speech 
are beautiful, just as the varieties of 
butterflies are beautiful. No matter 
what your first language, you 
should treasure it all your life. If it 
happens not to be standard En- 
glish, and if it shows itself when 
you write standard English, the re- 
sult is usually delightful, like a very 
pretty girl with one eye that is 
green and one that is blue. 

I myself find that I trust my 
own writing most, and others seem 
to trust it most, too, when I sound 
most like a person from Indianapo- 
lis, which is what I am. What al- 
ternatives do I have? The one most 
vehemently recommended by 
teachers has no doubt been pressed 
on you, as well: to write like 
cultivated Englishmen of a century 
or more ago. 

6. Say what you mean to say 

I used to he exasperated by 
such teachers, but am no more. I 
understand now that all those an- 
tique essays and stories with which 
I was to compare my own work 
were not magnificent for their dat- 
edness or foreignness, but for say- 
ing precisely what their authors 

meant them to say. My teachers 
wished me to write accurately, 
always selecting the most effective 
words, and relating the words to 
one another unambiguously, 

/rigidly, like parts of a machine. 
The teachers did not want to 
turn me into an Englishman 
after all. They hoped that I 
would become understandable 
- and therefore understood. 
And there went my dream of 
doing with words what Pablo 
Picasso did with paint or what 
any number of jazz idols did 
with music. If I broke all the 
"' rules of punctuation, had 
words mean whatever I wanted 
them to mean, and strung them 
together higgledy-piggledy, I would 
simply not be understood. So you, 
too, had better avoid Picasso-style 
or jazz-style writing, if you have 
something worth saying and 
wish to be understood. 

Readers want our pages 
to look very much like pages 
they have seen before. 
Why? This is because 
they themselves have 
a tough job to do, and 
they need all the help 
they can get from us. 

7. Pity the readers 

They have to 
identify thousands of 
little marks on paper, 
and make sense of 
them immediately. 
They have to read, an 
art so difficult that most people don't 
really master it even after having 
studied it all through grade school 
and high school - twelve long years. 

So this discussion must finally 
acknowledge that our stylistic 
options as writers are neither nu- 
merous nor glamorous, since our 
readers are bound to be such 
imperfect artists. Our audience 
requires us to be sympathetic and 
patient teachers, eve"r willing to 
simplify and clarify -whereas we 
would rather soar high above the 
crowd, singing like nightingales. 

That is the bad news. The 
good news is that we Americans 
are governed under a unique 
Constitution, which allows us to 
write whatever we please without 
fear of punishment. So the most 
meaningful aspect of our styles, 
which is what we choose to write 
about, is utterly unlimited. 
8. For really detailed advice 
For a discussion of literary style 
in a narrower sense, in a more 
technical sense, I commend to 
your attention The Elements of Style, 
by William Strunk, Jr. , and E.B. 
White (Macmillan, 1979). 
E.B. White is, of 
course, one of the 
most admirable lit- 
erary stylists this 
country has so far 

You should realize, 
too, that no one 
would care how well 
or badly Mr. White 
expressed himself, 
■e so deeply about [fhe did not have 

soapbox about it-" ^^ enchan ting 

things to say. 

Years ago, International Paper sponsored a series of advertisements, 
"Send me a man who reads," to help make Americans more 
aware of the value of reading. 

Today, the printed word is more vital than ever. Now there 
is more need than ever before for all of us to read better, write 
better, and communicate better. International Paper offers this new 
series in the hope that, even in a small way, we can help. 

For reprints of this advertisement, write: "Power of the 
Printed Word," International Paper Co., Dept. 5-X, PO. Box 900, 
Elmsford, New York 10523. ****-*******, 

We believe in the power of the printed word. 


By Brian O'Leary 

There has been a lot of talk about 
satellite solar-powerstations, 
space colonies, and removing Ihe 
limits to growth on Earth by using Ihe 
staggering abundance of resources and 
energy available in space. Receni 
engineering studies show that these 
proposals could solve ihe finite-Earth 
problem once and for all. The investment 
wou Id be a mere fraction of the annual 
U.S. gross national product: ihe return 
would be many times that amount. 

That is the vision. But in reality, with the 
exception of new defense projects, we 
Americans are in a short-sighted, think- 
little, belt-tightening period. NASA has cut 
back advanced planning to one ienih its 
1966 level, and the visionaries now find 
ihemselves grappling for meager private 
funds, designing cruise missiles, teach- 
ing, or writing for scientific journals. Many 
are opening delicatessens or wandering 
the streets in bewilderment. Some of 
us have done all of these. Despite this, 
at least ten subscriber-funded space- 
advocacy organizations have been 
established. The public wants more action 

than our timid space policy offers. 

So we are challenged lo think smaller. 
Can we open the resources of space 
within NASA's austere plans? The answer 
appears io be yes. 

Certain engineering studies reveal that 
an early return to the moon is a surpris- 
ingly cheap and important step.Several 
months ago scientists at:enomg a work- 
shop addressed the question, What is 
the smallest feasible facility that could 
transport, process, and manufacture 
useful products from lunar materials 9 
They found that a rapidly growing, self- 
r eplicating, and cost-effective system 
could be built, launched, and landed on 
the moon with an investment of about S5 
billion. This is approximately what NASA 
spends year, or 1 percent of the 
annual federal budget. 

There is no need to invest tens of billions 
of dollars, Apollo-fashion, to begin using 
lunar resources. At first we need only land 
about 60 ions of equipment on the moon 
and place 90 tons of factory apparatus 
into'ahigh Earth orbit. 

The equipment on the moon includes a 

The need lo build and fuel space projects 

22 OMNI 

planned lusitfez <r-% c. 

small electromagnetic mass driver, a plant 
to mine and process silicon from the lunar 
soil, and some self-replicating machines. 
The processing plant produces solar 
collectors to power the installation, and the 
other machines enlarge the processing 
plant and mass driver. 

Raw materials launched from the moon 
by the mass driver could be collected, 
smelted, and fabricated in space, At first 
the products would support MASA and 
U.S. Air Force satellites planned for 
geosynchronous orbit. Later they would 
contribute to satellite solar-power stations 
and space habitats. 

The study found ihat the mass driver 
could launch about 1 ,800 tons of lunar ma- 
terial during its first year of operation. This 
would double every 90 days. We could 
reach the astounding production rate of 
100.000 tons per year after only two years. 

The mass driver and processing plants 
would produce about 100 limes (heir own 
mass in one year After three years we 
could begin to build lull-scale solar-power 
sale 'lies to send energy to Earth. 

The rewards of this project would far 
outstrip the costs, and — perhaps even 
more significant— ihe rationale for invest- 
ment is a short-term one; supporting the 
relatively modest programs NASA and the 
Air Force have already planned. 

During that period we'll be putting a new 
generation of communications and survey 
satellites into geosynchronous orbit. 
Hundreds, and later thousands, of tons of 
fuel (mostly oxygen), solar collectors 
(mostly silicon), and space structures 
(mostly aluminum) will be required. These 
materials must either be hoisted the last 
two thirds of the way out of Earth's gravity 
from low shuttle orbits or be produced in 
space from lunar materials. The extra $5 
billion it would cost to put a mining facility 
on the moon would be a small price to pay. 

Food for thought. It appears that we 
don't need grandiose visions to justify 
space manufacturing with extraterrestrial 
materials. We can do it now. This is good 
news for those of us who have heen 
waiting so long for an aggressive space 
program, if we can ease communication 
with the bureaucracy just a bit. OO 



By Peter Evans 

■ ^% |hat do Lyndon Johnson, Maria 
i ill Callas, and Martin Bormann 
fc» «rfhaveincommon?Orl_ewis 
Carroll, Charlie Chaplin, and Richard 
Mixon? The common denominator, believe 
it or not, is their exact moment of birth. Not 
the month or week, but the precise hour. 

French psychologist Michel Gauquelin 
suggests that more than coincidence is at 
work in (he birth of famous people at 
similar times during the daily planetary 
cycle. He has compiled an enormous 
mountain of statistics that indicate the 
planets "provoke" success based upon 
their position in the sky at the moment 
when these people are born. 

if a fairground fortune-teller offered this 
notion, no one would take it seriously. 
Astrology, after all. is considered far from 
scientific. But Gauquelin, highly respected 
in his field, has thrown a statistical monkey 
wrench into the gears of skeptical science. 

Back in the 1950s Gauquelin destroyed 
any scientific claims for astrology in a 
classic, massive study. While doing his 
research, however, he found a separate 
correlation he couldn't explain. Among his 

figures were the exact birth times of 500 
members of the august French Academy 
of Medicine. From these Gauquelin 
calculated the precise position of the 
planets in the sky when the births took 
place. Famous doctors, he discovered to 
his surprise, showed a distinct preference 
for being born when either Mars or Saturn 
had just risen or had jusi reached zenith. 

The relationship seemed significant, but 
Gauquelin insisted upon meticulous sta- 
tistical results. So he and his wife logged 
the birth times of more ihan 20,000 
celebrities. They then matched the times 
with the positions of planets in 12 sectors 
of the sky. 

They found correlations, hard to ignore. 
The periods just after planetary rising and 
around the zenith appeared quite influ- 
ential. The number of scientists born in 
those critical sectors exceeded chance 
by odds of 300,000 to 1. 

Saturn seemed well placed at the birth 
of writers and painters. Mars, fittingly, 
dominated when soldiers were born. 
Some planets appeared to have negative 
effects. For instance, only 203 of 1,473 

Our personalities may be influenced at the moment of birth by the position olsi 

24 OMNI 

painters were born with Mars in critical sec- 
tors, where chance predicted 253. The 
odds against this were 200 to 1. 

Perhaps, Gauquelin concluded, plane- 
tary influences and human personality 
are intertwined in a way neglected by 
astrology. His six volumes of data made 
a weighty case to consider. 

But there were anomalies in the findings. 
Albert Einstein, for one, should have been 
born when Saturn was predominant. He 
wasn't. His birth at 1 1 a.m. on March 14, 
1879, came just after Jupiter reached its 
zenith. This position is associated with 
performers and extreme extroverts. 
Proponents explain the apparent- 
inconsistency by claiming Einstein wasn't 
an ivory tower thinker but the Danny Kaye 
of science, sticking his tongue out at 
journalists and mocking riiual and pomp. 

Despite the soft spots, Gauquelin's 
speculations ra se fascinaring questions. 
If his statistics have uncovered some 
relationship between personality and 
planets, what is its nature? Is it truly an 
influence, shaping our ends, pulling us"" 
into certain paths, attuning us to the 
cosmos? And does the unborn child, then, 
interact with space and initiate its own 
birth at the proper instant? 

Gauquelin feels there is an influence 
exerted, but he remains hazy about its 
form. He doesn't believe in rays of some 
arcane sort that zap the baby at birth, 
determining its personality. But he does 
feel that there is a link between the child's 
genetic inheritance and the moment it 
selects to initiate birth. He notes that only 
natural births establish a correlation. 
Cesarean — or induced-labor— births 
produce no significant results. 

The basic problem with Gauquelin's 
Iheory, though, is the lack of a suitable 
definition of temperament. His current 
definition consists of long lists of traits so 
elastic that they become ambiguous. 

Still, Gauquelin hopes to find the proper 
context for his findings. He eschews all 
horoscopes as irretrievably misguided. 
Instead he is struggling to produce a 
convincing case tor his findings as solid 
science. He just may succeed. If he 
doesn't, it won't be for lack of trying. OO 



By Gerald Jonas 

There was aiime when science 
fiction, the self- proclaimed liter- 
ature of the future, had no past. 
At least, that was my impression in the late 
Forties when I first discovered Astounding 
Science Fiction and its competitors in the 
candy-store racks. The writers and editors 
of that golden age ol magazine science 
fiction certainly recognized a debt to Jules 
Verne and H. G. Wells. Yet for the most 
part they did nol identify with previous lit- 
erary traditions, eiiher as a source o( 
inspiration or as a set of conventions to 
rebel against. They imitated notthe clas- 
sics but one another; they defined their 
achievements by pulp-magazine stan- 
dards: and if they thought of antecedents, 
if was in terms of back issues. 

How iimes have changed! During Ihe 
last two decades science fiction has 
been welcomed into academe, both as 
teaching materia! and as a subject fit for 
scholarship. And book publishers have 
obligingly brought out a number of an- 
notated anthologies, aimed more or less 
at the college market, that try to relate 
contemporary science fiction to the 
mainslream of literary history. The biggest, 
the most ambitious, and in many ways the 
best of these anthologies is James Gunn's 
The Road to Science Fiction , available in 
three paperback volumes from New 
American Library. 

Gunn, an SF writer who teaches at the 
Universily of Kansas, has provided a 
critical/historical introduction for each 
volume and selection. The first volume 
begins with an excerpt from Lucian's A 
rrueS(ory.alaleof interplanetary war 
written circa A. D. 170. The third volume, 
closes with Joe Haldeman's Hugo 
Award-winning story "Tri centennial." In 
between are bits and pieces from such 
classics as SirThomas More's Utopia, 
Jonathan Swift's "A Voyage to Laputa," 
from Gulliver's Travels, Mary Shelley's 
Frankenstein, and Edward Bellamy's 
Looking Backward, 2000-1887. In 
addition there are smatterings of Verne 
and Wells, along with short stories by 
major figures in and out of the genre, 
including Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel 
Hawthorne, Rudyard Kipling, E. M. Forster, 

28 OMNI 

Robert A. Heinlein and Ray Bradbury. 

As with any project of this scope, one 
can quarrel with individual choices. In 
fact, Gunn's purpose is narrower than the 
jacket copy implies; he is offering no more 
than one man's view of the roots of modern 
American science fiction. No more — but 
also no less. Seen in this context, his 
achievement is considerable. 

Gunn is aware that science fiction in this 
country is a strange hybrid: It is both more 
"intellectual" and "cruder" than contem- 
porary non-genre fiction. Gunn says that 
science fiction is "most typical when it 
deals with ideas worked out in human 
terms. ... At the hard core of almost every 
true science-fiction story is an idea— 'the 
quality that makes humanity human is 
curiosity'; 'ff people only saw the stars 
every thousand years, they would not 
adore but go mad'— and the reader who 
misses the intellectual level of discourse is 
missing what more than anything else 
distinguishes science fiction from other 
forms of fiction." 

At a time when serious fiction has 
virtually abdicated a pedagogic role to 

Gl. 1 ..'"..'! . ■'. i ;<,. .■'<.'! ; a I.'. ■■.'■■■ . '.-.)■ '<■, 

nonfiction and journalism, this does 
indeed allow Gunn to make a strong case 
for modern SF as a spiritual descendant of 
More and Sir Francis Bacon. But Gunn 
does not become so enamored of his 
definition that he dismisses all good SF 
stories that fail to meet his criterion. It is 
also true (as Gunn carefully documents) 
that American science fiction's exile into 
the pulp ghetto left it with a strong 
component of raw, unthinking gut feeling, 
best represented in this collection by A. E. 
van Vogt's "Black Destroyer." 

During the first halt of the twentieth 
century, it seems, certain unpleasant tacts 
about the human psyche that were all but 
ignored in mainstream fiction could be 
safely acted out in socially unapproved 
forms of entertainment: animaied 
cartoons, slapstick comedy, murder 
mysteries, Westerns, and science fiction. 

No wonder outside critics have so much 
trouble understanding the appeal of 
science fiction: abstraci ideas on the one 
hand, unexamined emotions on the other. 
Gunn captures this dichotomy best in the 
second volume by juxtaposing Forster's 
brilliant "The Machine Stops," written in 
1909 as an answer to Wells's overopti- 
mistic view of scientific progress, and two 
chapters from Edgar Rice Burroughs's 
The Chessmen of Mars, a 1922 space 
romance with all the disturbing charm 
of an adolescent girl's daydreams. 

But what about the future ot this 
literature of the future? In a society that 
lacks a single unifying cultural influence 
— such as a universal church or a 
commonly held belief in progress — each 
serious artist must put the world together 
on his or her own. Fairly or not. we expect 
writers to ask the big questions and to 
point us, at least, toward the answers, 
Where did we come from? Where are we 
going? These are questions that in today's 
world can be most usefully phrased in 
scieniific terms. A contemporary writer 
who is scientifically illiterate is as 
handicapped as a writer of Dante's day 
would have been if he knew nothing of 
Christian theology, t suspect this will 
become increasingly clear to both writers 
and readers. OQ 



By Roberts. Ryan 

Einstein on the Beach, an 
"opera" in four acts, is director 
Robert Wilson's best-known 
work. To people who make it their business 
to know such things, Robert Wiison is the 
theater's future. 

His creations are not plays as we now 
think of them. They exist as nonlinear 
sequences of images that pass before our 
eyes like dreams. The massive, hypnotic 
Einstein on the Beach, performed at New 
York's Metropolitan Opera House in 1976, 
lasted six hours. Sections of the operatic 
score, with music composed by Philip 
Glass, consisted of singers reciting a 
series of numbers over and over. Another 
recent work, Ka Mountain and Guardenia 
Terrace: A Story About a Family and Some 
People Changing, lasted seven days and 
seven nights and took place over the 
space of several mountains. 

The "operas" are equal part spectacle, 
dance, architecture, mathematics, music, 
sound, and image. They are not "about" 
anything. These theatrical events are. 
perhaps, meditations that allow ample 
room for an audience's own meditations. 

"If you Iry to follow each line of the play 
and mate a connection, a thread, you get 
lost," says Wilson. "It's not like Tennessee 
Williams or Edward Albee. where if you 
miss the second scene, you're lost in the 
third. They demand your primary atlenlion 
throughout. In my work, you frequently just 
float with the situation." 

Most of the director's scripts revolve 
around a hislorical figure. So far he has 
touched on Einstein, Freud. Stalin, Queen 
Victoria, Thomas Edison, and Rudolf Hess. 
These figures and the "stories" their 
names evoke provide a springboard to 
sights and sounds that may have little 
surjace relationship to the protagonists. 
"Wilson's Edison," wrote Newsweek's Jack 
Kroll, "is like his Freud and Stalin, not so 
r-jch ;j hs-onca figure as a resonator, 
a magnetic catalyst creating a new 
gravitational field in human experience." 

Wilson's Manhattan loft, in an industrial 
district overlooking the Hudson River, is 
spare in contrast to his elaborately 
conceived productions. White walls 
border a concrete floor on which are 
arranged, almost as if for some religious 

Director Robert Wi 
30 OMNI 

ritual, foot-high, handmade wooden seats. 
The walls themselves also serve as work 
space. Sheets of paper line them, marked 
with sections of dialogue, colored tape to 
indicate "theme" lengths for radio drama, 
and some striking /mages; a deep-sea 
diver and a nineteenth-century portrait. 

Here, often working through the night. 
Wilson develops the sets of instruction, 
more like an architect's blueprints than a 
script, that describe every detail of his 
complex pieces (rehearsals for lighting 
alone in Death, Destruction ana Detron 
lasted five weeks). 

Wilson, thirty-nine, is extremely popular 
in Europe, particularly in France and 
Germany, where government subsidies to 
the arts aid in mounting his mammoth 
productions. The technical precision and 
complexity ot Wilson's theatricals make 
them tremendously ccstiy f.instein on the-—' 
Beach, despite ilssold-out box office, 
cost nearly 590,000 per performance. But 
the Europeans, unlike the Americans, 
apparently recognize the value of their 
investment. The French contributed nearly 
$500,000 to produce Edison (a modest 
piece by Wilson's standards, lasting only 
three hours and involving "simple" scenes, 
punctuated by nine "blackouts") The 
West Germans put up nearly $1 million to 
present Death, Destruction and Detroit , a 
controversial meditation on American 
fechnology. "We did it in Berlin, and it 
lasted over five hours," Wilson confides. 
"There was a restaurant and bar down- 
stairs, so people could get something 
to eat or drink and come back. It's okay 
if they missed a scene, because each 
element of the play is independent." 

Critics in his native United States are 
less understanding. New York magazine's 
John Simon described Wilson's first 
Broadway production, A Letter to Queen 
Victoria, as "merely tableaux vivants done 
to monotonous music and accompanied 
by meaningless gyrations." Of course, this 
msses thepoint. 

"The visual element in my plays is 
independent of the texl," the director 
explains. "We hear, we see, as on interior 
and exterior vision screens, and we can 
alternate between the two. I think it's 




By Harry Lebelson 

Carl Jung, noted psychologist, once 
linked UFOs to human psychody- 
namics. \n his book Flying Saucers 
(1959), Jung suggested that UFOs were 
mandalas, the circular symbols of order. 
Recounting the drearn of a six-year-old 
girl, Jung draws the connection between 
mandala and flying saucer: "She dreamt 
she stood at the entrance of a large, 
unknown building. A fairy led her down 
a long colonnade and conducted her 
to a sort of central chamber. Similar colon- 
nades converged from all sides. The fairy 
stepped into the center and changed 
herself into a tall flame." Jung's dream 
mefaphor parallels many current UFO 
abduction cases, which fill the files of UFO 
organizations throughout the country today. 

The scenario is familiar: A UFO lands, 
and an alien appears and escorts a 
"contactee" into the craft. The vehicle's 
interior appears large to the contactee 
once he is inside. The interior seems 
actually to exceed the outer dimensions of 
the craft. After being examined by the 
aliens, the story goes, the contactee is 
given a tour of the vehicle and is then 

escorted from the craft. 'As the mandala 
protects and defends the psyche of the 
girl in the dream, so, too, does it protect 
the contemporary abductee of UFO 
mythology," Jung states. 

Berthold Schwarz, a New Jersey 
psychiatrist and advocate of Jungian 
thought, asserts, "I prefer to work with 
'hidden contactees,' those who stand 
outside the glare of the spotlight. These 
people have in the past made excellent 
hypnotic subjects. They are not influenced 
by such cultural media as newspapers, TV, 
or movies. By probing their psychody- 
namics, we might well determine the true 
nature of UFOs." 

From years of intensive research, 
Schwarz concludes that UFO sightings 
satisfy certain deep-seated human 
wishes, 'At a time when we are faced with 
political, social, and ecological extinc- 
tion," the psychiatrist comments, "it makes 
sense for some people to seize upon 
UFOs as saviors from the sky." Recall the 
famous Gallup poll in which 68 percent of 
those who were interviewed said they 
believe UFOs exist. Furthermore, more 

Carl Jung, author of Flying Saucers, interpreted UFOs as prQ!nci:ve symbols within the psyche, 
p.? OMNI 

than 13 million Americans said they had 
actually seen such an object. Some of the 
individual contactee stories are even more 
bizarre than those of cult groups. 

Margaret Ludeman, a Calif ornian in her 
eighties, is a medium for a spirit entity 
named Hilarion. Commander of a UFO 
fleet hovering beyond the moon, Hilarion 
warns that Earth will soon self-destruct 
unless mankind ceases using atomic 
energy. Margaret has been communi- 
cating with her alien friend for the past ten 
years and continues sending his "word" to 
those who will listen. She has described 
events and occurrences far beyond the 
scope of her eighth-grade education. 
Unlike some spirit mediums, she does not 
commercially exploit her abilities. She 
lives as a retiree in a trailer camp and 
survives on social security. 

A stranger, but equally true, story — 
concerns Lydia Stalnaker, spirit medium, 
spiritual healer, and UFO contactee. Lydia 
summoned her spirit UFO entity. Antron, 
on a recent David Susskind show. Antron 
apparently speaks through Lydia and 
reinforces her ability as a spiritual healer. 
Lydia attempted to cure a member of 
Susskind's staff, who claimed he had a 
spot on his lung. This claim was later 
confirmed by his physician. An examina- 
tion by an impartial doctor some weeks 
later revealed that the spot had dis- 
appeared. Lydia asserts that her abduc- 
tion by a UFO when she was eight years 
old was responsible for the healing power 
she now possesses. Could she have had a 
Jungian dream? 

One last excursion into the world of 
other realities concerns Marcia Moore. Co- 
author of the book Journeys into the Bright 
World, Marcia describes a world of higher 
consciousness under the influence of the 
hallucinogenic drug ketamine. Marcia and 
her husband, Howard Altounian, M.D, 
former deputy chief of the anesthesia 
department at the Seattle Public Health 
Hospital, collaborated on the book, 
published in 1978 by Para Research, Inc., 
of Rockport, Massachusetts, 

Journeys documents a series of record- 
ed drug experiments. An average of 50 
milligrams of ketamine was administered 





The future of comfort rests with Jantzen. 



For all of human history the planets were wandering 
lights in the night sky. They stirred our ancestors, 
provoked their curiosity, and encouraged mathemat- 
ics and more accurate record keeping. The work of 
Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton in the understanding of 
planetary motion led to the development of modern physics and 
In a very real sense opened up the modern age of science and 
technology. In the last 18 years every one of those wandering 
lights has been visited by space vehicles from Earth. We humans 
have landed exquisite robot spacecraft on Mars and Venus and 
have orbited both planets. We have flown by Mercury, Jupiter, 
and Saturn, We have discovered the broiling surface of Venus, 
the windswept valleys of Mars, the sulfur rivers of lo, the great 
polychrome storm systems of Jupiter. We have discovered new 
moons, new ring systems, puzzling markings, enigmatic 
pyramids, and have searched for life. Never again will the planets 
be mere wandering points of light. Because of the effort of the 
last two decades they will forever after be worlds crying out for 
exploration and discovery. 

Yet the pace of planetary exploration has slackened ominously 
After the Voyager encounters with the Saturn system in Novem- 
ber 1980 and July 1981, there will be a period of more than four 
years in which no new images will be returned from the planets by 
any American spacecraft, If we back off from the enterprise of 
the planets, we will be losing on many different levels. By examin- 
ing other worlds— their weafher, their geology, their organic 
chemistry, the possibility of life— we learn better how to under- 
stand and control the earth. Planetary exploration involves high 
technology that has many important applications to the national 
and global economy— robotics and computer systems being 
two of many examples. Such exploration uses aerospace 
technology in an enterprise that harms no one and that is a credit 
to our nation, our species, and our epoch. And planetary explora- 
tion is an adventure of historical proportions. A thousand years 
from now when the causes of temporary political disputes will be 
as obscure as the cause of the War of the Austrian Succession is 
to us, our age will be remembered because this was the moment 
when we first set sail for the planets and the stars. 

These arguments are widely accepted. When a specific 
planetary mission is being considered by the Executive Office of 

the President or by the appropriate congressional committees, 
however, planetary scientists hear another story We are told that 
it is expensive, although a vigorous program of unmanned 
planetary exploration would cost about 0.1 percent of the federal 
budget; the Voyager spacecraft, when they are finished with their 
explorations, will have cost about 1 cent a world for every inhabi- 
tant of the planet Earth, But mainly we are told that, although (he 
arguments for planetary exploration are widely understood in 
government circles, they are not supported by the people. We 
are told that spending money on planetary exploration—on the 
discovery of where we are, who we are, what our history and fate 
may be— is unpopular. I can remember a congressman telling 
me that the only letters he had received in support of the Galileo 
exploration of Jupiter were sent by people too young to vote. 

But there is evidence of enormous support and enthusiasm for 
the exploration of the planets, We can see it in the popularity of 
motion pictures, television programs, and books on planetary 
themes. While we puzzled over this apparent paradox, it became 
clear to me and a number of my colleagues that the solution 
would be a nonprofit, tax-exempt public-membership organiza- 
tion devoted to the exploration of the planets and related 
themes— particularly the search for planets around other stars 
and the quest for extraterrestrial intelligence. If such an organiza- 
tion had a substantial membership, its mere existence would 
counter the argument that planetary exploration is unpopular. 
And so Dr. Bruce Murray, the director of Caltech's Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory, and I, with a number of colleagues and friends, have 
established the Planetary Society Charter membership is £20 a 
year, for which members receive a newsletter on the latest devel- 
opments, access to spectacular color photographs taken by 
planetary spacecraft, notification of local events, talks, seminars, 
and workshops, and other advantages, if we are successful, we 
may be able not oniy to accomplish our initial goal of demonstrat- 
ing a base of popular support for planetary exploration but also 
to provide funds for the stimulation of critical activities, for exam- 
ple, in planetary mapping and in the radio search for extraterres- 
trial intelligence. We would be happy to hear from interested 
Omni readers at PO. Box 3599, Pasadena, CA91103. (Like many 
proposed interstellar radio messages, (he box number is the 
product of two prime numbers, 59 and 61!) — CARLSAGAN 



Warning; Cosmic rays 
from outer space may be 
hazardous to the health of 
your computer. Researchers 
at Intel and IBM have dis- 
covered that subatomic par- 
ticles can cause a trouble- 
some form of amnesia in 
high-density computer 
memory chips. The main 
culprits are alpha particles 
emitted by tiny amounts of 
radium and thorium in the 
chip package itself, but par- 
ticles produced when cos- 
mic rays strike silicon chips 
can have the same effect. If 
the chip is sensitive enough, 
these particle-solid interac- 
tions trigger a "soft fail. " 

"It's like a genetic muta- 
tion," says Tim May, an Intel 
physicist who first called at- 
tention to the problem in 
1 978. The burst of electrical 
charge from a single alpha 
"can mutate a binary zero 
into a one, or vice versa. 
That can cause data loss or 

can even shut down a sys- 
tem completely." Even home 
computers are not immune. 
May calculates that the typi- 
cal hobbyist microcomputer 
"has a rate of one soft fail 
every three weeks or so. No 
problem. You're likely to 
cause a failure more often 
than that by tripping over the 
power cord." 

However, "smart" cash 
registers and other remote 
terminals "have been hit 
rather severely," May says. A 
big European department 
store recently scrapped its 
computerized inventory-con- 
trol system because soft 
fails were glitching its sales 
records. "The most severe 
implications are for weapons 
systems," says May, "Soft 
fails might explain some of 
the recent instances of data 
loss in military satellites." 

Other victims of the lowly 
alpha may be bank custom- 
ers, most of whom depend 
on computer memories to 
keep track of their bank ac- 
counts.— Dirk Hanson 

se —your savings account has been wiped out by a cosmic 
ray: A remote, but possible, new hazard for bank customers. 
36 OMNI 


Continuing our counter- 
point to the pills touted by TV 
ads. we now offer the sequel 
to chicken soup, which we 
described last year as a 
promising treatment for 

Our latest candidates are 
crying and blowing warm, 
moist air up the nose. The 
latter is proposed by Aharon 

Yerushalmi. of Israel's pres- 
tigious Weizmann Institute of 

His plan: First pour dis- 
tilled water into a device that 
looks like a toaster with two 
nozzles. Then put the noz- 
zles into the patient's nos- 
trils. Then blow a stream of 
warm air (43' C) over the 
water and up the patient's 
nose. According to pub- 
lished reports, half an hour's 
treatment stopped all nasal 
secretion and headaches for 
85 percent of the patients 

The device, Rhinotherm 
AL-101. is called an "instru- 

ment for the cure of the 
common cold." Reached by 
phone at his Israeli lab, 
Yerushalmi would release 
few details, but he said clini- 
cal tests are being con- 
ducted in several countries. 
"The results are encourag- 
ing," he added. Published 
reports say Yerushalmi ex- 
pects to sell the devices to 
medical establishments in 
about two years for $200 

Crying is proposed by 
Walter A. Stewart, a Manhat- 
tan psychoanalyst and au- 
thor, who says people.'s sus- 
ceptibility to colds seems, 
to disappear when they 
learn to cry freely. Why? Dr. 
Stephen E. Bloomfield, an 
eye expert at New York Hos- 
pital-Cornell Medical Center, 
notes that crying relieves 
stress— and stress causes 
the body to produce ste- 
roids, which reduce resist- 
ance to disease, 

A spokesman for the 
American Medical Associa- 
tion said there is no officially 
accepted single cure for the 
most common of human dis- 
eases. He added, however, 
that some things, including 
vitamin C, seem to work for 
some people. 

—Stuart Diamond 

"Afo quackery is ever 

rejected by the American 
public until a more 
scientific-sounding but 
inherently less plausible 
Quackery is ready lo take 
its place." 

—H. L Mencken 

"In science we must be 
interesied in things, not in 
persons. " 

— Marie Curie 


Remember when plants 
were being wired in order to 
discern their emotions? 
These experiments— in 
which sensitive houseplants 
reportedly freaked out in the 
presence of a plant mur- 
derer, and so on — were 
never well replicated. Now, 
however, a professor in the 
Southwest is again tuning 
into vegetable "EEGs." 

Every plant has a charac- 
teristic electrical pattern, 
says William Gensler, a Uni- 
versity of Arizona electrical 
engineer. And the signals 
vary with the plant's daily 
rhythms, water needs, and 
growth status. 

In fields outside Tucson, 
Arizona, Gensler and his 
students have wired cotton 
plants and pecan trees by 
inserting one electrode in 
the plants' tissue and the 
other in the soil, forming a 
closed circuit. A central con- 
trol box takes readings and 
radios ihe data to a re- 

ceiver at ihe campus, where 
a computer punches out 

This direct-monitoring sys- 
tem is more accurate, Gens- 
ler says, than conventional 
methods, which focus on the 
soil. It could skirt agricultural 
guesswork by pinpointing 
optimal irrigation times. Crop 
perfection might also be 
served by selecting plants 
whose voltages correspond 
to maximum growth (or min- 
imal water needs). 

"But farmers won't be 
using this for a couple of 
years." Gensler notes. "Our 
problem now is data com- 
pression: We need to com- 
bine all the numbers into a 
single number that a farmer 
can read on his computer 
once a day or once a week." 

So, though your geranium 
may not be saying, "I love 
you," it could be screaming. 
"Water me."— Judith Hooper 

'The future is a convenient 
place lor dreams," 

—Analote France 


Now there are television 

programs designed specifi- 
cally to put you to sleep. A 
company called Nebulae 
Productions is offering 14 
half-hour videotapes of na- 
ture scenes with natural 
sound, such as South Pacific 
beaches lapped by gentle 
surf, flowing waterfalls, and 
forests with songbirds. 

used to relax patients and 
groups of businessmen, 
health classes, and people 
enrolled in stress- manage- 
ment training sessions. 

Video Wallpaper can be 
combined with another sys- 
tem called VIBES (Video 
Interface for Biofeedback 
Systems), which alters its 
brightness and volume to 
correspond to changes in a 
viewer's mental and physical 

The tapes can be played 
on a conventional televi- 
sion/video recorder; they 
should be more effective in a 
few years when new video 
technology provides large, 
flat-screen images. With this 
potential in mind. Nebulae is 
marketing its product under 
the trademarked name 
Video Wallpaper. 

The tapes have already 
been field-tested in several 
hospitals and biofeedback 
centers. Dr. John Garrison, 
who tested the system at 
Union Hospital, in Lynn, 
Massachusetts, found it ef- 
fective and popular when 

states, as determined by 
hand temperature. 

Nebulae's Roy Kamen 
said the SF movie Soylenl 
Green partially inspired his 
company: "It made us aware 
that patients cooped up in a 
hospital room would rather 
see nature scenes than four 
white walls"— an allusion to 
an episode in which Edward 
G. Robinson dies while view- 
ing such scenes. 

Kamen envisions a time 
when Video Wallpaper will 
be "available in pharmacies 
so doctors can prescribe a 
specific scene for a patient." 
— Allan D. Maurer 




Having tasted both sides 
of lite, the ancient sage/sex- 
changeling Tiresias (fa- 
mous for his dire warnings to 
Oedipus) pronounced that 
sex was more fun as a wom- 
an. Three millennia later 
brain researchers may be 
discovering why. 

For men , sex is reflexive, a 
psychomotor activity, says 
neuropsychologist James W 
Prescott, of the Institute of 
Humanistic Science, in West 
Bethesda, Maryland. 

Studies show that when the 
neurotransmitter dopamine, 
necessary to psychomotor 
activities, sinks to pathologi- 
cally low levels fas in Parkin- 
son's disease), sex is cur- 
tailed in men, but not in 
women. Thus, researchers 
speculate that female sexual 
behavior is regulated by dif- 
ferent neural pathways. 

Psychomotor activity 
tends to be focused and 
goal oriented. Women's 
brains, less "focused" dur- 
ing sex, are better equipped 
to luxuriate in its emotional 
and spiritual dimensions, 
according to Prescott. 

Female accounts of or- 
gasm often describe sensa- 
tions characteristic of al- 
tered states of conscious- 
ness: floating, loss of body 
awareness, a sense of unity 
with the partner. Prescott be- 
lieves the vestibular-cerebel- 
lar system, a part of the brain 
governing balance, touch, 
and movement, may ac- 
count for these phenomena. 

Female chauvinists, take 
note: According to Prescott, 
the human female is distinct 
from her mammalian sisters 
in experiencing sexual de- 

38 OMNI 

sire independently of estrus. 
Thus, for women, sex has a 
purpose beyond reproduc- 
tion. Men's sexual makeup, 
conversely, represents no 
dramatic departure from that 
of lower mammals. 

'All this is just speculation 
at this point," says a more 
cautious brain researcher, 
Jaak Panksepp. of Bowling 
Green State University Ohio, 
"The only hard data are the 
studies with dopamine." 

Panksepp's work with rats 
links dopamine with psy- 
chomotor stimulations. Rats 
with high dopamine levels 
ran around more, "self-stimu- 
lated" (pressed levers for 
rewards) more, ate more, re- 
sponded more to the envi- 
ronment, and generally were 
more "outward directed." In- 
terestingly, women generally 
register lower dopamine 
levels than men do. — J. H. 

"There is more to life than 
increasing its speed. " 

—Mohandas K, Gandhi 


IBM scientists have taken 
one small step in the direc- 
tion of eliminating the secre- 
tary and the typing pool with 
the development of a ma- 
chine that takes the spoken 
word and turns it into type, 
all without a middleman (or 

Still an experimental pro- 

totype, the device is a com- 
puterized speech-recog- 
nition system connected to a 
microphone. Someone the 
machine "knows," who has 
spoken to the machine be- 
fore, talks into a. microphone. 
The system breaks down the 
sounds it hears with an 
acoustic processor into 
sound patterns. 

Another program, called 
the linguistic decoder, ana- 
lyzes the sound patterns and 
comes up with a sentence 
that it prints out on a com- 
puter terminal screen. 

Already gauged at 91 per- 
cent accuracy, the program 
for the system was devel- 
oped by Dr. Frederick 
Jelinek and the continuous 
speech recognition research 
group he heads at IBM labo- 
ratories in Yorktown Heights. 
New York. Ideally, he sees 
the device as becoming the 
ultimate dictation machine, 
There are a few problems 
that must be ironed out be- 

i fore that happens, however. 

j Although the device has a 
decent vocabulary— 1,000 

I words, taken from the text of 

a patent on lasers— it can 
understand only one person 
at a time and only after a 
two-hour orientation session 
of listening to his or her indi- 
vidual speech patterns. The 
complex process of translat- 
ing sound into print also 
takes a long time. It takes 
100 minutes to analyze and 
print a sentence that took 30 
seconds to speak. 

Finally, there is that 9 per- 
cent rate of error. A man may 
say, "Although the invention 
has been described . . ." but 
Ihe machine might print, 'All 
of the invention has been 
described .,* 

Still, Dr. Jelinek believes 
the basic program behind 
the device is versatile 
enough to be used in a work- 
ing prototype of a dictation 
machine he thinks will be 
ready in a few years. 

—Douglas Colligan 


In the zero-gravity world 
of spaceflight, there's no 
hanging over the rail if you 
develop "space sickness." 

Surprisingly, at least half of 
those already rocketed into 
orbit, including Soviet cos- 
monauts, have experienced 
motion sickness to a degree: 
nausea, dizziness, disorien- 
tation, or even vomiting. A 
sticky situation at best. 

But now a means to con- 
quer cosmic queasiness has 
been suggested by psycho- 
physiologist Dr. Patricia 
Cowings, of NASA's Ames 
Research Center: namely, 

Inonetest program. Dr. 
Cowings and her research 
associate, William Toscano, 
taught about 50 earthbound 
subjects biofeedback tech- 
niques to ward off sickness 
while sitting in a chair spin- 
ning ever faster. 

"The subjects learn volun- 
tarily to prevent increased 
heart rate, sweating, and, to 
some extent, changes in 
blood flow," Cowings said. 

Biofeedback offers advan- 
tages over drug therapy, 
which can cause drowsi- 
ness. "In order to really sur- 
vive in space, you have to be 
on top of the situation all the 
time. You can't afford to have 
a reduction in alertness," 
Cowings said. 

Astronauts have taken as 
much as a week to acquire 
their space legs. With a bar- 
rage of seven-day shuttle 
jaunts planned, more than 
half of an astronaut's pro- 
ductivity might be lost. If 
such is the case, biofeed- 
back may become more 
necessity than experiment. 
— Leonard David 

"Science is nothing but 
trained and organized 
common sense." 

—Thomas H. Huxley 

Nuclear drinking water; David Woodbridge drinks a glass ■ 
r that has gone through his special irradiation ptocesi 


An idea that would bring 

people and radioactive 
waste closer together is 
bound to furrow some 
brows. Yet David Wood- 
bridge, an environmental 
physicist with the Hittman 
Corporation, of Columbia, 
Maryland, makes a compel- 
ling argument for meeting 
the water-pollution problem 
with another pollutant: 
nuclear waste. 

Woodbridge's plan calls 
for using the most radio- 
active elements in spent 
nuclear-fuel rods to clean up 

With about 6,000 metric 
tons of spent fuel now in 
temporary storage, plans for 
nuclear-fuel reprocessing 
and permanent storage are 
at a standstill. But isotopes 
that are pure gamma-ray 
emitters, such as cesium- 
137 and strontium-90, could 
be removed at one of the 

now-idle reprocessing 
plants and be encapsulated 
in stainless steel containers. 
Woodbridge believes. These 
gamma-ray generators 
eould then be used to de- 
contaminate wastewater: 
The irradiation and heat 
would inactivate viruses and 
destroy many organic chem- 
ical pollutants. 

Gamma-ray emitters, un- 
like neutron sources, leave 
no residual radioactivity in 
water, and the output could 
be used directly for energy- 
producing biomass (animal 
feed or alcohol) or, with con- 
ventional secondary treat- 
ment, would yield pure drink- 
ing water. 

Woodbridge agrees that 
reeducation would be 
needed before nuclear 
waste is used in industrial or 
municipal sewage treatment; 
he points with pride to the 
successful pilot plant that he 
developed a few years ago. 
While associated with 


Florida Institute of Technol- 
ogy, he used a cobalt-60 
irradiator in the pilot proj- 
ect—the same cobalt used 
in anticancer therapy. Now, 
with cesium-137 available in 
reactor fuel, Woodbridge 
thinks it's wasteful indeed to 
seal such a useful energy 
source underground. 

While the Department of 
Energy remains hamstrung 
over nuclear waste, Wood- 
bridge's idea may be worth 
investigating. Once gam- 
ma-ray emitters are put to 
good use, Woodbridge says, 
the remaining waste would 
reach safe radioactivity 
levels in 50 years, not 
thousands of years. 

— DeanR. Lambe 


It just might be that think- 
ing makes your brain bigger. 

Muscle cells grow larger 
with exercise and get small- 
er (atrophy) without it. And 
now two prominent neuro- 
chemists say that nerve cells 
behave in the same way. 

Drs. Herman Vanden- 
burgh and Seymour Kauf- 
man, of the National Institute 
of Mental Health, have de- 
veloped a method for me- 
chanically stimulating living 
cells and measuring what 

The scientists suggest 
that exercise and nerve 
activation stimulate the 
growth of muscle cells by 
aenvating a "sodium pump" 
involved in regulating the 
ratio of sodium and potas- 
sium within a cell. 

"What is lea'rned about 
muscle cells may in turn 
shed light on the mecha- 
nisms of action of nerve-cell 
growth and atrophy, perhaps 
increasing our understand- 
ing of the human brain's re- 
sponse to environmental 
stimulation or the lack of it," 
Dr. Vandenburgh suggests. 
—Alton"' ' 

"I don't know about you, but 
I'm tired of having to hold my 
nose every time I enter my 
polling booth." 

—Barry Commoner 


Plastic and refuse, two of 

modern life's by-products, 
are now being considered to 
rebuild the society that 
spawned them. 

In several states the same 
material that forms Plexiglas 
and polyester is being sub- 
stituted for cement in the re- 
pair of roads and bridges. 
Added to sand and stone, 
this clear plastic fluid — 
called a polymer— binds the 
mixture in a way that is 
stronger and longer-lasting 
than conventional materials. 

So tough is the plastic that 
scientists have made bricks 
and sewer pipes by injecting 
the polymer into waste prod- 
ucts. Scientists at Brook- 
haven National Laboratory, 
on Long Island, New York, 
have made bricks by using 

Nerve cells of human brain: Muscle cells grow larger because ot 
exercise; now scientists think the same may hold true for the brain. 
40 OMNI 

crushed glass, and inciner- 
ated refuse. These "out- 
house bricks," as lab scien- 
tist Meyer Steinberg calls 
them, rival their conventional 
counterparts. The problem, 
he added, lies in convincing 
engineers that the new 
material is as useful and 
economical in the long run 
as conventional material. 

The polymer usually com- 
prises 10 percent of the 
finished product. It can help 
recycle wastes and save 
valuable resources. It also 
drastically cuts the time 
needed for repairs. A 
polymerized road surface 
sets in as little as an hour- 
compared to perhaps days 
for concrete— cutting labor 
costs and traffic congestion. 
Polymer pothole repairs also 
last years, while asphalt may 
last less than a season, says 

John Bartholomew of the 
U.S. Transportation Depart- 

Among the results of the 
department's polymer pro- 
j gramare26plasticized 

potholes on Interstate 35 In 
Minneapolis, a number of 
bridge repairs in Dallas, and 
polyester patches on the 
Major Deegan Expressway, 
in the Bronx, New York. After 
several years the patches 
still look like new. officials 

"There is no question that 
there is an unseen world. 
The problem is, Howfarisit 
from midtown and how late is 
it open?" 

— Woody Allen 

"It was the failures who had 
always won, but by the time 
they won they had come to 
be called successes. This is 
the final paradox, which men 
call evolution." 

—Loren Eiseley 


Each year as many as 2 
million dogs and cats get 
petnapped. Many of them, 
according to the Humane 

e and industry. 

"Unscrupulous licensed 
animal dealers are doctoring 
their records and selling 
stolen pets to labs— and 
getting away with it! "says 
Margaret Morrison, of the 
Humane Society. 

Most stolen dogs and cats 
are used in biomedical re- 
search and for teaching 
medical students and sur- 
geons in training. Others are 
subjected to toxicity tests: 
They are exposed to, or in- 
jected with, chemical prod- 
ucts to determine how 
poisonous they are. 

-Dealing in stolen pets is a 
profitable business. Cats on 
average sell to biological 
supply houses or labs for 

around 515, mongrel dogs 
for around S100, and pure- 
breds for around 5200. 

Typically two "bunchers," 
as petnappers are called, 
work in a ring with a licensed 
animal dealer. The bunchers 
cruise a territory in their van 
and try all kinds of tricks to 
nab animals, such as using 
tranquilizer guns, drugged 
meat, or even bitches in 
heat. Once there's a big 
enough haul, they head for 
kennels across state lines, 
where the dealer holds the 
3nima ! s before selling them. 

The Animal Welfare Act 
requires that the 6,800 U.S. 
dealers must keep records 
of purchase, previous own- 
ership, and sale of all ani- 
mals sold to labs. Labs must 
also hold an animal for five 
days before using it, just in 
case an animal is traced as 
lost or stolen. But. says Mor- 
rison, the act is poorly en- 
forced . The Department of 
Agriculture has only a limited 
number of inspectors re- 
sponsible for checking the 
small-animal traffic. 

Since the law isn't much 
help, grass-roots organi- 
zations have sprung up 
throughout the country. One, 
Action 81 of Virginia, started 
along Route 81 , where local 
residents became aware of a 
rash of stolen pets. Today 
the organization has af- 
filiated groups in 40 states. 

One thing you can do is 
tattoo your pet with your so- 
cial security number, accord- 
ing to an Action 81 spokes- 
man. Thereby lab personnel 
can distinguish a stolen pet 
from legally acquired ani- 
mals and seek ways to re- 
unite the animal with its right- 
ful owner. — Caroline Rob 


For eight years small 
groups of researchers have 
been exploring the possibil- 
ity of rockets powered by 
high-energy lasers. Now re- 
searchers at Physical Sci- 
ences, Inc. (PSI), in Massa- 
chusetts, with backing from 
NASA and the Defense 
Advanced Research Proj- 
ects Agency, are moving 
past theory into experi- 

In a rocket of this sort a 
continuous-wave (CW) or 
repeatedly pulsed laser 
would be beamed into the 
propulsion chamber, heating 
the propellant and thus pro- 
viding thrust. 

A laser-powered rocket 
would have a definite ad- 
vantage over aeon ventional 
chemically fueled rocket, 
says KurtWray.ot PSI. "It 
would have a much higher 
specific impulse. The rocket 
could carry more payload," 
he says. 

Right now, Wray reports, 
PSI uses a trio of lasers to 

fire a triple-pulsed laser 
burst of 1 5 megawatts for a 
microsecond into a specially 
designed rocket nozzle. 
"There's no system yetthat 
will do that indefinitely," Wray 
notes, but calculations 
show that large thrusts are 
feasible with this concept. 

NASA has supported the 
CW work at PSI for the past 
four years and has given 
the company $100,000 to 
begin experimental work re- 
lated to the CW system. 

Wray says the high-pow- 
ered lasers needed for a 
full-scale laser-rocket sys- 
tem probably won't be de- 
veloped specifically for that 
use. But PSI intends to con- 
tinue its "low-profile" devel- 
opment of the concept, to 
bring it along so it will be 
ready to use the big lasers 
if and when they're' avail- 
able.— Joel Davis 

"For the people liable to 
be killed by earthquakes, 
quake prediction is certainty 

— Gordon Rattray Taylor 



Which is better at predict- 
ing earthquakes: animals or 
scientific instruments? Evi- 
dence collected so far sug- 
gests that your ordinary 
animal— a dog, ahorse, a 
pig— may give a more reli- 
able warning of an impend- 

geese refused io fly The 
Chinese, heeding these 
' signs, saved the lives of 
■ several hundred thousand 
people by evacuating them 
two days before the quake 

The ability of animals to 
sense such nalural phenom- 
ena is not as puzzling as it 

Dogs have ignored commands before an earthquake;- snakes 
have crawled out o! the ground; and pigs have climbed walls. 

ing earthquake than the ex- 
pensive apparatus now used 
by scientists. 

In August 1979. 200 instru- 
ments along California's 
Calaveras Fault failed 
to predict an earthquake so 
powerful it shook buildings 
in San Francisco, 130 kilo- 
meters away. But in 1974, 
several months before a 
massive earthquake struck 
China, hibernating snakes 
crawled out of the ground, 
pigs climbed walls and bit 
oneanother'a-fail, hens 
would not go to roost, trained 
German shepherds ignored 
commands, and barnyard 

12 OMNI 

may seem at first. Birds, 
dogs, and bats can sense 
the slightest vibrations 
in the earth— perhaps even 
better than sophisticated 
instruments can— some 
geologists say 

To be sure, humans are 
improving their own gadg- 
ets, which have found in- 
creased levels of radioactive 
radon in well water just be- 
fore a quake. The water pre- 
sumably was squeezed to- 
ward the surface by seismic 
forces tar below And space 
scientists are proposing 
satellites, lasers, and even 
distant quasars to measure 

movements in the earth's 

unchanged) for the next 

crust. In the past few years 

four weeks. 

instruments have success- 

Miraculously, within a 

fully predicted earthquakes 

week or two the volunteers' 

in Mexico and Asia. 

lipid levels— cholesterol and 

But many scientists are 

triglycerides— dropped 

taking a cue from animals. 

dramatically. (Vegetable oil 

The USSR has animal warn- 

reduces cholesterol, but not 

ing centers, and many na- 

triglycerides.) Their platelet 

tions are trying to learn what 

sensitivity also decreased. A 

i it is that animals are sens- 

high count of platelets, the 

: ing so that instruments can 

clotting factor in blood, con- 

be built to detect the same 

tributes to atherosclerosis 

signals. — S.D 

(coronary artery disease). 

Fish oil may well be the 


reason why Greenland Es- 

kimos and the Japanese 

Huile de poisson groen- 

have a low incidence of 

landaise'? However you say 

atherosclerosis, Dr. Harris 

it, it still spells fish oil, Unap- 

notes, The only problem? 

petizing, yes, but it could 

"Fish oil is so unpalatable, 

prevent that dread killer car- 

we'll have to find a way to iso- 

diovascular disease. 

late the active compounds 

This was the finding of a 

before it becomes accepted 

I University of Oregon study, 

as part of the American 

led by Dr. William S. Harris. 


Ten healthy volunteers ate a 

typical American diet full of 

"Acceptance on someone 

saturated fats for four weeks, 

else's terms is worse than 

then switched to salmon oil 

rejection. " 

(the rest of the menu was 

— Mary Cassatt 

'• i^2~&^JI~l^. 


Ht = 6H oii Q^ ;, 

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- • 

~* «kw,/ v M, 

Wvu-T,,, * ' & 


< --Ul^^M 

Jh**bi ■ i*??" *£*«. * m. j^, 

''■■»■:■■ r- 

fci Jm'T- ':''•■ 

y t 11 

". . . and that's just the short form!' 

s no! what physicist Victor 

Weisskopl was saying at a recent Fermilab symposium. But there 

were some light moments. See Pe 

p/e. page 118. 


Tomorrow's cars are sleek 
mirrors of aerodynamic harmony and consumer desire 

y^isions of safer, sturdier, more energy-efficient concluded,. "Even at iifty-fTiiies-per houf. There is a ciea' 

"cars reveal an ideological flip-flop in car making: gain" in the performance o! automobiles employing 
The engineer is beginning ;o read while the stylist ■ efficient styling Enthusiasts need not fear lhal enforced 
follows- External body projections will disappear; no ■ speed limits will mean the end of sleek machines. Siyl- 

more boxy lops, massive grilles, naked undersides, or ing will never go out of style 

Byzantine body shells Slippery shapes improve accel- Some:! ::*■:- ■■,-_;*, -,'i; i.ei, --,■■, altirsi mgK sivsnye t.'U 

eration and economy. Future cars will reflect lessons our guess is that we'll soon think of them as voluptuous, 

we're learning from racetracks, wind tunnels, and even sexy. But don'l bother looking under the hoods d! 

OPEC. Walter Korff, the American aerodynamicist, next, year's models for a hint at 1995, unless you peek 

« Future cars 

will reflect lessons we're 

learning from 

racetracks, wind tunnels, 


inside the latest sport coupe powered by 
(ready for this?) Briggs & Stratton. 

The most obvious reason for a new au- 
tomobile awareness is our global, oil 
crunch. But innovalion has not lain dor- 
mant. We are accumulating a staggering 
wealth ot new data that promise solutions to" 
other automotive problems. NASA and 
auto manufacturing firms have probed the 
limits of human tolerances so that we can 
set criteria for impact loads, insfrument 
layout, and genuine comfort. With com- 
puter simulation we can test suspension 
systems and shell designs before we risk a 
cent on hardware. Safety studies by auto 
makers are now scrupulously monitored by 
the U.S. Department of Transportation. 
Under their lissome skins, future cars will 
reflect new imperatives from governments 
and industry: advances in power plants, 
materials, and safety. 

During this decade we'll see most of the 
available research money go to power- 
plant improvement. Synthetic fuels will be 
expensive, though more of the mix may 
come from timber slash, desert shrubs, 

Preceding pages .■ The Ford/Ghia Megastar II 
suggests slithery underside for easy handling 
(top); Plninfarina's aerodynamic Modulo 
minimizes coe"c>e~; drag itattom). Low-alloy 
steels molded for style in Vector prototype (left); 
computerized interior of Ford's Probe I (above). 

and similar renewable resources. By 1995, 
cars powered exclusively by heat engines 
will be a wild extravagance. Thai's why, 
after tinkering with diesels and stratified 
charges for a while, we'll probably furn 1o 
more economical power, minimizing [he 
use of fossil fuels. 

Elecirabouts have obvious advantages: 
no emissions beyond a trace of ozone; 
moderate torque; almost eerily quiet; and 
their energy is cheap. A less obvious virtue 
is a wide variety of recharging sources. Yet 
electrabouts until now were limited by the 
twin vices of short range and long recharge 

Engineers concede other drawbacks. 
too. Electric heaters drain batteries at a 
ferocious rate. Ordinary batteries are 
heavy and bulky and need a replacement 
every year or so. 

Electrabout buffs claim that every objec- 
tion can be overcome. It's true that 90 per- 
cent of our driving is urban stop-and-go 
sorties. This is precisely where electra- 
bouts shine. If every family used one, our 
auto fuel consumption could drop by fully 
two thirds. One importer of Italian cars ex- 
pects increasing competition soon from 
electrabouts. "My guess is, the Japanese 
will market short-haul electrics within three 
years," he mused. "Japan imports nearly 
all its oil; so it's primed for the change." 

But for long trips, today's batteries won't 

serve, even with standardized battery 
packs for quick removal/replacement. The 
owner of a new 1990 ampwagen won't 
trade his temporarily exhausted, but 
brand-new, §1.000 pack for one that may 
be only minutes away from terminal flatu- 
lence. Certification by service stations? 
Few station managers would climb out on 
such a fiscal limb 200 times a day. Detailed 
maintenance before certification? Exorbi- 
tant facility costs, a huge surcharge for 
every exchange, and still the knowledge 
that, nothing lasts forever. Clearly, electra- 
bouts need batteries of higher energy den- 
sity, more watt-hours per kilogram, and 
faster recharging. 

GM's zinc-nickel oxide battery, earlier 
announced by NASA, and Gulf and Wesi- 
ern's zinc-chlorine battery have twice the 
energy density of older batteries. A lithium- 
iron sulfide cell under development may 
quadruple that improvement, but cost and 
high operating temperatures will delay 'the 
panacea battery. 

It's plausible to hope for a day-long, 
800-kilometer electrabout range by 1995, 
but we can't depend on this, nor do we have 
to. The combustion-electric hybrid engine, 
used in a 1908 car but generally ignored 
since, eliminates both range and recharge 

Late in 1979 Briggs & Stratton demon- 
strated an attractive, compact six-wheeler 
hybrid coupe, employing two engines, one 
powered by electricity, the other by gas- 
oline. The third (rearmost) axle supports a 
massive battery pack that drives an eight- 
horsepower (for you metric compulsives, 
that's 600 kilograms per meter per second) 
motor under the hood. Up on the front axle 
sits an 18-horsepower gasoline engine. 
The car can be driven by either or both 
of its prime movers; that's what makes it 
a hybrid. 

This stylish coupe was designed by 
Brooks Stevens; it's tempting to speculate 
what engineers at Porsche or Pininfarina 
might have done with the basic six-wheel 
layout. The Stevens exercise for Briggs & 
Stratton is a functional success, overcom- 
ing objections that a hybrid might look 

That was important to Bud Goodwin, the 
maverick industrialist whose Fiberfab, Inc., 
built the awesome police cruisers for 
George Lucas's film THX-1138. Goodwin 

once answered critics with "The shape 
can! just tie right. It's "gotta look right, too. I 
can't sell hidden charm." 

By 1990, in all likelihood we'll have low- 
slung hybrids. They'll catch on slowly at 
first, because the hybrid's mass alone rules 
out the kind ot handling and acceleration 
that made sporty cars such fun. They won't 
be cheap, either 

The hybrid owner will have the best of it, 
though, until the panacea batteries arrive. 
On short trips the engine will use no pump 
fuel. On a cross-country run the hybrid's 
driver will have to bite hard on the OPEC 
bullet and pay dearly for fuel. But this op- 
tion is the driver's, who can still certainly 
choose long drives if he can afford it. That 
element of choice will sell a lot of hybrids in 
. the next 20 or 30 years: The hybrid offers 
the best solution to our current needs and 
desires in an era when the price of auto fuel 
is soaring — which means that by 1990 
Americans will have dumped several 
hundred billion dollars into OPEC's coffers. 
There's little point in arguing whether that 
S200 billion could best be spent on social 
security, mass transit, the exploration of 
space, or all three. The choice will not be 
ours, because the money won't be. But the 
emergence of hybrid cars will herald our 
independence from OPEC. The scenario 
becomes hazier about 2010 with the argu- 
able advent of broadcast or narrowcast 
power, chassis doubling as batteries, and 
tree mass transit- 
Future cars will benefit greatly from aero- 
space materials, though cost will downplay 
titanium, metal honeycomb, and stainless. 
Plastics— for example, sandwich panels 
filled with semirigid urethane foams- - al- 
ready show promise. While many plastics 
are pelroieum derived, some are recycla- 
ble. Major companies like Bayer AG (West 
Germany) and General Motors have in- 
vested heavily in plastic cars, and racing- 
oriented firms like Chaparral (U.S.A.) and 
Lotus (U.K.) have produced truly gorgeous 
winners from plastic. 

For a while yet our cars will need rigid 
chassis, and for mass production that gen- 
erally means steel. High-strength, low-alloy 
(HSLA) steels are gaining popularity at 
Ford and GM, since HSLA can do the job of 
mild sleel with less metal, hence less 
weight. Because there is so small a quan- 
tity of nonferrous eiemenls in HSLA, they 
can be recycled cheaply. 

Aluminum will play a stronger fole as 
plastics improve, replacing some steel in 
engines, radiators, suspensions, cast 
structural parts, and body panels. Later on 
plastics will replace both aluminum and 
steel in caslings, bodies, gears, even 
Springs. However, the Italian firms Bertone 
and Pininfarina will continue to fit mouth- 
watering metal shapes over existing chas- 
sis. Aluminum is easier to form than steel 
and lighter, too, though some Italian pro- 
totypes now emerge first in handcrafted 
steel bodies, forinstance, Bertone's Sibilo. 
Limited production copies could cruise the 
highways as much as 100 kilograms lighter 


it clothed in aluminum a la Porsche's 928. 

Weight reduction is essential for econ- 
omy since less energy is required to accel- 
erate a smaller mass. Better lubricants and 
bearings may improve economy by 10 per- 
cent, and improved tires will lower rolling 
resistance and boost traction. 

Pooling our preview of materials with the 
absolute demand for long-range economy, 
we can approach a topic dear to our 
hearts; appearance. For two reasons we 
needn't fear that the car in our crystal ball 
will be ugly. Bill Lear and Bud Goodwin 
gave the first reason in typical plainspoken 
fashion: Manufacturers can't afford to mar- 
ket cars that have no external charm. Styl- 
ing studios, like Paris couturiers, try to 
shape— or at least anticipate- our tastes 
in cars, and they build models of all sizes 
for major auto firms. Ghia works with Ford; 
Calty in California is sponsored by Toyota; 
Bertone is often linked with Alfa and Lan- 
cia, Pininfarina with jusl about everybody. 
Some big firms (GM, Ford, Daimler-Benz, 

tTTie most startling 
changes will take place in 

the interior. Door 
locks, ignition, and steer- 
ing will operate 
'only for those who know 
the code and 
are sober enough to use it. 9 

Volkswagen, Renault, and others) maintain 
their own stylists even as they contract for 
fresh ideas with independent studios. 

The second reason why we can expect 
breathtaking cars is that the most efficient 
shapes at freeway speed tend to be aes- 
thetically pleasing (though many pleasing 
shapes are woefully inefficient). A car's 
frontal drag coeificient (CD; in Europe, CX) 
is the measure of ils slipperiness through 
the air. A big sleek car of low CD like the 
Pininfarina-derived Citroen CX. sedan can 
have lower total drag than a smaller car with 
a high CD. Thus, a styling studio with real 
wind-tunnel-engineering expertise can 
develop prototype cars that are lithe, effi- 
cient, and roomy. 

Daimler-Benz lested cars in a Stuttgart 
tunnel many years ago. Then some US. 
companies began to use the Cornell Uni- 
versity tunnel. Now Volkswagen has one, 
too, but Pininfarina's own wind tunnel in 
Turin gives lhat firm a tremendous advan- 
tage in melding art with engineering. 

Under contract to Consiglio Nazionale 
delle Ricerche (CNR), Italy's national re- 
search council, Pininfarina has evolved a 
sedan design that is an gdds-on favorite as 

the trendsetter for the Nineties. The CNR 
sedan, its computer-generated shape 
modified to reflect necessary shell discon- 
tinuities, was tunnel-tested. Its final config- 
uration gave rise to the nickname "Banana 
Car," from the subtle bowing of its under- 
side, which minimizes aerodynamic drag. 
The French government-sponsored Re- 
nault EVE sedan and the Uni-Car, jointly 
funded by West Germany and several 
technical universities, reflect affirmation of 
similar new shapes. There is evidence that 
in 1982 AMC-Renault may test some ot 
these engineered shapes in the market. 

It frontal-drag coefficiency were the only 
important criterion, we might expect a dis- 
mal sameness to infect our future car 
choices. But this needn't be the case when 
we buy for different reasons. Some design 
teams will focus more on pedestrian and 
occupant safety, olhers on energy effi- 
ciency, some on interior room. The shapes 
will reflect these options, but most will ap- 
proach that voluptuous, nearly unbroken 
line from nose to tail. The bobtail feature is 
already popular, proceeding from the work 
of Dr. W.I.E. Kamm, who proved, in the 
1930s, that a long, tapering tail creates 
higher induced (turbulence) drag. 

Both size and shape affect vehicle 
safety. Thanks to new studies, we know how 
much space occupants need tor protec- 
tion. We know a car's front end should be 
designed to catch, ralher than propel, a 
pedestrian. We also know that the car's 
balance point, or center ol gravity, permits 
good handling uncer poor conditions. 

Future cars will likely be designed to • 
cruise near the "double nickel." our na- 
tional 55-mph speed limit (approximately 
90 kph), since aerodynamic drag begins to 
be cosily in that range. Drag is a square 
function: Double your speed and drag 
jumps four times. It's a steepening energy 
penalty that costs roughly half again as 
much at 110 kph as it does at 90 kph. 

Motor racing may seem an unlikely road 
to economy, but the less energy a car uses. 
the less weight it has to carry. We'll still profit 
from racing in 2010 if we revive the Index of 
Performance as a criterion. The index is a 
measure of fuel economy in a race and was 
once important in road racing. The sooner 
we bring it back, the sooner brilliant 
amateurs (and Porsche's professionals) 
will lest evety aspect of it. 

Another innovation extracted from 
racing — external airfoils— was suggested 
to Ferrari years ago by American test driver 
Richie Ginther Shortly thereafter foils were 
thoroughly investigated by Caltech-trained 
Texan Jim Hall, whose Chaparrals race- 
proved a dozen engineering innovations 
and blew past opposition like Texas tum- 
bleweeds. Quick: What won the 1980 Indy? 

One measure of Hall's thoroughness is 
his attention to driver comfort. Air vents, 
pedal placement, and lumbar support all 
received careful thought in trendsetting 
cars like Chaparral and Porsche. Form fol- 
lows function on the inside, too. 

Interior layouts wnl bo 'esilienl and com- 

fortable {vide Ford's Probe I), though not 
particularly roomy, because foam protec- 
tion and frontal drag militate against wide 
open spaces. Commuter cars can be more 
spacious inside. Hideaway armrests can 
double as restraints for toddlers- re- 
straints inexcusably omitted from today's 
"practical" family cars. 

The most startling changes in the interior 
will be electronic. Door locks, ignition, and 
steering will operate only for those who 
know the punch code and are sober 
enough to use it. The onboard computer 
will monitor systemwide sensors; no bear- 
ing will overheal. no brake pad will fail, no 
relay will stick without automalic diagnosis, 
including an oral or video report to the 
driver. Sensors can compare road-surface 
conditions and nearby objects wilh ac- 
ceptable standards, alerting the driver to 
impending trouble. 

The car's radar system need not depend 
on embedded rails to monitor a trip, be- 
cause tiny dipoles can be embedded in 
paint and dipole length can be an informa- 
tion code. Tomorrow's car may jus! follow 
the white line, turning off the highway when 
it reads the dipole code of a roadside sign 
Given priorities and destination, the car 
can query distant transmitters for weather 
and traffic data; follow a least-time or 
least-energy route; continuously update 
the estimated time of arrival; and seek the 
best offramp if refueling or repair is neces- 
sary. Robert A. Heinlein's sultry-voiced on- 
board computer {Omni, October 1979),. 
keyed to voiceprint and full of randy one- 
liners, might be an expensive option in 
some ten years. The driver will be able to 
turn the chores over to her computer, select 
the latest Atari video game, and play while 
the machines work. 

Any system smart enough to permit safe 
front-seat video can give us more than 
games. The driver, with a tiny headset, can 
attend a video class on one display while 
her passenger reads or writes a book on 
another, using foldaway consoles, light 
pencils — in fact, the entire panoply of 
equipment available for household com- 
puter use. 

We won't need to inspect the hardware of 
future cars very often, and so we might 
miss some subtle improvements. A 20- 
horse hybrid's diesel engine may be so 
small that it can be replaced by muscle 
power in a few moments. Computer-ad- 
justed suspension with instantly variable 
caster, camber, and toe-in can improve tire 
adhesion for off-road forays and might let 
us employ revolutionary, highly flexible 
chassis to rival a cheetah's. The military 
uses of such an agile vehicle make its de- 
velopment fairly likely by such corporations 
as AMF and Lockheed, which have already 
studied articulated off-road vehicles, 

Peering past 2010, we risk a few broad 
forecasts. When local line-of-sight power 
transmission becomes practical, we'll be 
able to reenergize hyperstrengih flywheels 
without pausing, so that power plants can 
be dirt cheap, ivlagnelohydrodynarnic and 







Death was waiting among the dinosaurs- until 
she found a purpose for her life 



21 August. 0750 hours . Ten minuies since the module meltdown. 

I can't see the wreckage trom here, but I can smell It, bitter 

and sour against the moisl tropical air I've found a clett in the rocks, 

a kind of shallow cavern, where I'll be safe from the dinosaurs lor a ■ 

while. It's shielded by thick clumps of cycads, and in any case it's 

too small for the big predators to enter But sooner or later I'm going 

to need food, and then what 7 1 have no weapons How long 

can one woman last, stranded and more or less helpless, aboard Dino 

Island, a habitat unit not quite fifteen hundred meters in diameter 

that she's sharing with a bunch of active, hungry dinosaurs? 

I keep telling myself that none of this is really happening. Only I 
can't quite convince myself of this. 

My escape slill has me shaky I can't get out of my mind the funny 
iitlle bubbling sound the liny powerpak made as it began to 
overheat. In something like fourteen seconds my lovely mobile 
module became a charred heap of fused-togeiher junk, taking with it 
my communicator unit, my food supply, my laser gun, and just about 
everything else. Bui for the warning that funny mile sound gave me, 
I'd be so much charred junk, too Betler off that way, most likely. 

When I close my eyes, I imagine I can see Habitat Vronsky floaling 
serenely in orbit a mere one hundred twenty kilometers away. 
Whal a beautiful sight! The walls gleaming like platinum, the great 
mirror collecting sunlight and flashing it into the windows, the 
agricultural satellites wheeling around il like a dozen tiny moons, I 
could almost reach out and touch it. Tap on ihe shielding and 
murmur, "Help me, come for me, rescue me," But I might just as well 
be out beyond Neptune as silting here in the adjoining Lagrange 
slot. There's no way I can call for help. The momenl I move outside 
this proleclive cleft in the rock I'm at the mercy of my saurians. and 
their mercy is not likely to be tender, 

Now it's beginning to rain -artificial, like prachcally everything 


else on Dino Island. But it gets you just as 
wet as the natural kind. And just as clammy 
Jesus, what am I going to do? 

OS/5 hours. The rain is over for now. It'll 
come agam in six hours. Astonishing how 
muggy, dank, thick the air is. Simply breath- 
ing is hard work, and I feel as though mil- 
dew is forming on my lungs. I miss Vron- 
sky's clear, crisp, everlasting springtime air 
On previous trips to Dino Island I never 
cared about the climate. But of course I 
was snugly englobed in my mobile unit, a 
world within a world, self-contained, self- 
sufficient, isolated from all contact with this 
place and its creatures. Merely a roving 
eye, traveling as I pleased, invisible, invul- 
■ nerable. Can they sniff me in here? 

We con 1 1 nirn their sense of smell is very 
acute. And the stink of the burned wreck- 
age dominates the place at the moment. 
But I must reek with fear signals. I feel calm 
row. outih.vaad'kereriiwhenlgotoutofthe 
module. Scattered pheromones all over the 
place, I be!. 

Commotion in the cycads. Something's 
coming in here! Long neck, small birdlike 
feet, delicate grasping hands. Not to worry, 
Struthiomimus, is all — dainty dino, fragile, 
birdlike critter barely two meters high. Liq- 
uid golden eyes staring -;oem-nv at me i| 
swivels its head from side tc side, os- 
tnchiKe. clicK-click. as if trying to make up 
its mind about coming closer to me. Scar.' 
Go peck a stegosaur Let me alone. 

It withdraws, making little clucking 
sounds. Closest I've ever been to a live 
dinosaur. Glad it was one of the little ones. 

09(30 hours. Getting hungry. What am 1 
going to eat? 

They say roasted cycaa core-, aiei I too 
bad. How about raw ones? So many plants 
are edible when cooked and poisonous 
otherwise, I never studied such things in 
detail. Living in ou: antiseptic little L5 
habitats," we're not required to be out- 
doors-wise, after all. Anyway, there's a 
fleshy-looking cone on the cycad just in 
front of the cleft, and it's got an edible look. 
Might as well try it raw, because there's no 
other way Rubbing stcks :ogetherwill get 
me nowhere. 

Gelling the cone off lakes some work. 
Wiggle, twist, snap, tear— there . Not as 
fleshy as' ii looks. Chewy, in fact. It's a little 
like munching on rubber. Decent flavor, 
though. And maybe some useful car- 

The shuttle isn't due to pick me up for 
thirty days. Nobody's apt to come looking 
for me. or even to think about me, before 
then. I'm on my own, Nice irony there: I was 
desperate to gel oul ol Vronsky and escape 
from all the bickering and maneuvering, 
the endless meetngs and memoranda, the 
feinting and counterfeinting, all the ugly 
political crap__ that scientisrs hcUge n 
when thsy turn into administrators. Thirty 
days of blessed isolation on Dino Island! 
An end to that constant dull throbbing in my 

head from the dany iniiglriny with Direclo' 
Sarber. Pure research again! And then the 
meltdown, and here I am cowering in the 
busbes, wondering which comes first, 
starving or getting gobbled by some 
cloned tyrannosaur 

0930 hours, Funny thought just now 
Gould it have been sabotage? 

Consider. Sarber and I, feuding for 
weeks over the issue of opening'Dino Is- 
land to tourists, Crucial staff vote coming 
up next month. Sarber says we can raise 
miltfons ayearfor expanded studies with a 
program of guided lours and perhaps 
some rental of the island to film companies. 
I say that's risky for the dinos and for the 
tourists, destructive of scientific values, a 
distraction, a sellout. Emotionally ihe staT's 
with me, but Sarber waves figures around, 
shows fancy income pro scions, and gen- 
erally shouts and bluste r s Tempers mn 
ning high, Sarber in lethal fury at being 
opposed, barely able to hide his loathing 

Ql'ma quick-witted 
higher primate. If my humble 

mammalian ancestors 

were able to elude dinosaurs 

■ well enough to inherit 

the earth, I should be able 

lo keep from getting 
eaten for . . . thirty days 3 

for me. Circulaling rumors — designed to 
gel back to me— that if I persist in blocking 
him. he'll abort my career Which is malar- 
key, of course. He may outrank me, but he 
has no real authority over me. And then his 
politeness yesterday (Yesterday? An eon 
ago! ) Smiling sma r rri:y. tell, ng me he hopes 
I'll rethink my ptisilon curing my observa- 
tion lour on the island. Wishing me well. 
Had he gimmicked my powerpak? I guess 
it isn't hard, if you know a little engineering, 
and Sarber does. Some kmc ol timer ;-;ei to 
withdraw the insulator rods? Wouldn'l be 
any harm to Dino Island itself, just a quick, 
compacl, localized d sasie' lhat implodes 
and melts the unit and its passenger So 
sorry, terrible scientific tragedy, whar a 
great loss! And even if by some fluke I got 
out of Ihe unit in time, my chances of surviv- 
ing here as a pedestrian for thirty days 
would be pretty skimpy, right? Right. 

It makes me boil to think that someone 
would be willing to murder you over a mere 
policy disagreement. It's barbaric. Worse 
than that, it's tacky. 

1130 hours. I can't stay crouched in this 
cleft forever. I'm 'going .to explore Dino Is- 

land and see if I can find a betler hideout. 
This one simply isn't adequate for anything 
more than short-term huddling. Besides, 
I'm not as spooked as I was right alter ihe 
meltdown. I realize now that I'm not going to 
find a lyrannosaur hiding behind every 
tree. And even if I do, tyrannosaurs aren't 
going to be muck interested in scrawny 
stuff like me. 

Anyway, I'm a quick-witted higher pri- 
mate. II my humble mammalian ancestors 
seventy million years ago were able to 
elude dinosaurs well enough to survive and 
inherit the earth, I should be able to keep 
from getting eaten for the next thirty days. 
And, with or without my cozy little mobile 
module, I want to get out into this place, 
whatever the risks. Nobody's ever had a 
chance ;o inle r acl 'his closely wilh Ine 
dinos before. 

Good thing I kept this pocket recorder 
when I jumped from the module. Whether 
I'm a ditto's dinner or not, I ought to be able 
to set down some useful observations. 

1830 hours. Twilight is descending now. I 
am camped near the equator in a lean-to 
flung together out of tree-fern fronds— a 
flimsy shelter— but the huge fronds con- 
ceal me. and with luck I n make il Inro.ichic 
morning. Thai cycad cone doesn't seem to 
have poisoned me yet, and I ate another 
one just now, along with some tender new 
fiddleheads uncoiling from the heart of a 
tree fern. Spartan fare, but it gives me the 
illusion of being fed. 

In the evening mists I observe a 
brachiosaur, half-grown but already colos- * 
sal, munching in the treetops, A gloomy- 
looking triceratops stands nearby, and 
several of the ostnchlike slruthiomimids 
scamper busily in the underbrush, hunting 
I know not what. No sign of tyrannosaurs all 
day There aren't many of them here, any- 
way, and I hope *ney re al; sleeping off huge 
feasts somewhere in tne o-hor hemisphere, 

What a fantastic place this is! 

I don'l feel tired. I don'! even feel 
frightened— just a little wary. 

I feel exhilarated, as a matter of fact. 

Here I sit, peering out between fern 
'rones a- a scene out of the dawn of time. 
All that's missing is a pterosaur or Iwo flap- 
ping overhead, but we haven't brought 
those back yet, The mournful snufflings of 
the huge brachiosaur carry clearly even in 
the heavy air. The struthiomimias a-e mak- 
ing sweet honking sounds. Night is falling 
swiftly and the great shapes out there take, 
on dreamlike, primordial wonder. 

What a brill anl : dea it was to put all the 
Otsen-process dinosaur reconstructs 
aboard a little L5 habitat of their very own 
and turn them loose to re-create the 
Mesozoic! After that unfortunate San Diego 
event wifh the tyrannosaur it became politi- 
cally unfeasible to keep them anywhere on 
Earth, I know, but, even so, this is a better 
scheme, In just a little more than seven 
years Dino Island has laken on an al- 
together convincing illusion .of reality. 
Things grow so fast in this lush, steamy, 

high-G0 2 tropica: tumosphore! Of course 
we haven'! been able to duplicate the real 
Mesozoic flora, but we've done all right 
using botanica surv vers, cycads and Iree 
ferns and horsetails and palms and 
ginkgos and auracarias. and thick carpets 
oi mosses and selagineNas and liverworts 
covering Ihe. ground. Everything has 
blended and merged and run amok. It's 
hard now to recall the bare and unnatural 
look of the island when we first laid it out. 
Now it's a seamless tapestry in green and 
brown, a dense jungle broken only by 
streams, lakes, and meadows, encapsu- 
lated in spherical metal walls some five 
kilometers in circumference. 

And the animals, the wonderful, fantas- 
tic, grotesque animals. 

We don't pretend that the real Mesozoic 
ever held any such mix of fauna as I've 
seen today, stegosaurs and oorythosaurs 
side by side, a iriceratops sourly glaring at 
a brachiosaur, struthiornimus contempo- 
rary with iguanodon, a wild unscientific 
jumble of Triassic, Jurassic, and Creta- 
ceous, a hundred million years of the di- 
nosaur reign scrambled together. We take 
what we can get. Olsen-process recon- 
S'.'ucts require sufficient fossil DNA to per- 
mit the computer synthesis, and we've 
been able to find that in only some twenty 
species so' far. The wander is *nat we ve 
accomplished even that mucn fa -eplicate 
the complete DNA molecule from battered 
and sketchy genetic information millions of 

years old, to carry out the intricate implants 
in reptilian host ova lo see the omDryos 
through to self-sustaining levels. The only 
word that apples is. 'raracu/ous Hour dinos 
come from eras millions of years apart, so 
be it: We do our best. If we have no 
pterosaur and no allosaur and no ar- 
chaeopteryx, so be it: We may have them 
yet. What we already have is plenty to work 
with. Someday there may be separate 
Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous satellite 
habitats, but none of us will live to see that, I 

Total darkness now. Mysterious screech- 
ings and hissings out there This afternoon 


remember wiicn I Mr ik I'm go nc nuts. 

iday l 

, grtsly 

;oming within fifty or a hundred meters 

iving dinos. I felt a kmd of ecstasy. Now my nivor 

ears are returning, and my anger at this have 

stupid marooning. I imagine clutching wait' 

jlaws reaching for me, terrible jaws yawn- days 

ng above me. reptil 

I don't think I'll get much sleep tonight- them 

22 August. 0600 hours. Rosy-fingered level: 

fawn comes to Dino Island, and I'm still cons 

anced diet for the big c 

have to snare some fo 

though I find the prospect of ealirg raw 

frog's legs 

I don't bother getting dressed anymore. 
With rain showers programmed to fall four 
times a day, it's better to go naked anyway 
Mother Eve of the Mesozoic, that's me' And 
without my soggy tunic I find that I don't 
mind the greenhouse atmosphere of the 
habitat half as much as I did. 

Out to see what I can find, 

The dinosaurs are up and about already, 

■i. -nt 


lans. these! Would that they were, if only for 
my survival's sake. 

1130 hours. A busy morning My first en- 

Rum glows with flavor 

in the limelight. 

4 partsWhite Puerto Rican Rum, 

1 part Rose's." 

Rose's Lime Juice* 





Ron Siegel probes 
the hallucinating brain to 

chart hidden features 
of our mental landscape 



Ronald K. Siegel removes the 
liny vessels from a heavy safe in 
his laboratory. "This is a bottle of 
Ihe original solution processed 
in Switzerland .for Albert 
Hofmann." he says. "This is the 
lasl bottle manufactured by 
Sandoz for Timothy Leary. . . . 
This is an Oriental batch pro- 
duced especially for me." He 
might be a connoisseur of wines 
lalking about great vintages. But 
these three vials, each the size 
of a pencil stub, contain enough 
LSD-25, psilocybin, and opium 
to turn all of Los Angeles on. 

An experimental psychologist 
at UCLA's Neuropsychiatry In- 
stitute, Ron Siegel probably 
knows more about how drugs 
work than anyone else alive. He 
uses science to determine ex- 
actly what people see during a drug experience. His 
trained "psychonauts" traverse inner space and report 
back what they see. This enables the psychologist to 
char! elusive features of the mental landscape. 

"We now have a map of all hallucinations in terms of 
form, color, and movement," Siegel notes. "While visual, 
our mapping techniques can be applied to auditory, 
olfactory, tactile, and probably emotional states We've 
begun to see that the subjective world is just as worthy 
of serious research as the objective world," 

Siegel's work with she hallucinating brain promises to 
reveal important new information about how the human 
mind functions. Far beyond the obvious benefits it will 
bring in the improved use and manufacture of pharma- 
ceuticals, scientific drug use may demonstrate enor- 
mous potential in expanding our mental abilities. 

"Much of the information stored in the brain is in the 
form of images," he explains. "By studying hallucina- 
tions, we are learning about the storage-and-retrieval 
process of those images. We will eventually be able to 

Siegel (left) maps tne meaning ol drug-induced art (above) 

control the retrieval of informa- 
tion almost at will— including 
thought imagery, daydream im- 
agery, sleep imagery, or halluci- 
nation imagery." 

Certain key aspects of cere- 
bral behavior have emerged 
through Siegel's research. "We 
know that hallucinations corre- 
spond to patterns in the struc- 
ture of the optical system and to 
storage information in the brain's 
conical cells," he says. "That in- 
formation is stored in geometric 
arrays, which form the Structure 
we see played on the visual 
screen during hallucinations. 
Structural interpretation is idio- 
matic for each person, but the 
structure itself reflects the com- 
mon wiring of the human brain." 
In addition to delineating the 
visual format of hallucinations, Siegel examines the 
question of where and how these visions originate. The 
most integrated explanation, he has found, is "percep- 
tual release." This theory of hallucinations was first for- 
mulated by British neurologist Hughlings Jackson in 
1931 and was updated by Siegel's colleague Louis 
Jolyon West. 

Normal memories, the theory assumes, are sup- 
pressed by the flow of sense information from the out- 
side world. "New information," West writes, "inhibits the 
emergence and awareness of previously processed 
information. If the new input is decreased or impaired 
while awareness remains, stored images may be re- 
teased and experienced as hallucinations or dreams," 
In other words, hallucinogens temporarily stem the 
blinding flow of sensory information that pours into the 
brain, enabling the individual to explore the awesome 
depths of his own internal universe. Psychologically, 
physiologically, and neurochemical^, Siegel found, hal- 
lucinogens can be described as mirrors of the mind. 

Unraveling drug visions is the result of painstaking 
preparation and exhaustive experimentation, Contrary 


to the widespread beliei thai the U.S. gov- 
ernment suppressed hallucinogenic re- 
search in the Seventies, Siegel maintains, 
"This simply wasn't true. If you wanted to go 
through the logistics o! gevt;ng permission, 
you could get it. I think expressions like 
'The government's hassling me, "red tape," 
and 'roadblocks' are unreasonable as- 
sessments of what I consider some rather 
good procedures for ensuring safety and 
experimental rigor." 

The first step was to select his all- 
important psychonauts. Volunteers were 
recruited through advertisements in West 
Coast newspapers and alternate life-style 
publications. Siegel was not allowed io use 
naive subjects but did select those who 
had a minimum number of previous drug 
experiences. "We didn't want them reliving 
old trips on our drugs," he says. "We 
wanted to give them all their trips." 

Siegel plied his volunteers with agents 
ranging from LSD to psilocybin, mescaline, 
PCP, and old-fashioned marijuana, sup- 
plied by the government or pharmaceutical 
companies. But belore a subject inhaled a 
single toke, Siegel trained him with 
thousands of slides to identify instantane- 
ously a veritable jungle of visual forms. 

These forms were selected from a sys- 
tem devised by Heinrich Kluver in the 
1920s. Kluver identified four types of con- 
sistent hallucinogenic images; gratings 
and honeycombs; cobwebs; tunnels and 
cones; and spirals. Variations in color, 

brightness, and symmetry provided finer 
gradations o! experience. 

For Siegel, this tittle-known system 
proved, to be a. Rosetta Stone of human 
hailucination. "We constructed a list of 
eight forms from lines to kaleidoscopes, 
eight colors, and eight patterns of move- 
ment. Then we trained volunteers in each of 
the forms. 

"For example, in training related to tunnel 
forms, we showed hundreds ol slides of 
tunnels so that subjects would have a 
broad concept of the form." 

In essence, Siegel ran a psychedelic' 
boot camp, drilling his psychonauts until 
they could identify the minutest changes in 
form. They would not only report that 
"There's a ye low, spiral checkerboard com- 
ing at me from twelve o'clock," but that the 
yellow was 570 millimicrons in wavelength. 

When Siegel's explorers were finally ad- 
ministered drugs in isolation chambers, 
their unprecedented visual education en- 
abled them to report an average of 20 times 
a minute, compared to only 5 times a min- 
ute with untrained subjects. 

What did Ihey see? Placebos, amphet- 
amines, and mild depressants produced 
nothing but black-and-white random forms 
moving aimlessly. The hallucinogens, how- 
ever, produced more' vivid descriptions. 
First, organized, geometric patterns ap- 
peared. Slowly they took on blue tints and 
began pulsating. Thirty minutes into the 
voyage, lattice and tunnel forms increased 

significantly, along with some kaleido- 
scopes. When nearly two hours had passed, 
colors shifted to red, orange, and yellow. 
Explosive, rotating lattice tunnels predomi- 
nated, overlaid by complex images drawn 
from the subject's life. The scenes and 
forms all danced together around a bright 
light in the center of the image. 

Many psychonau'f voyages recalled 
childhood memories and embellishments 
of strong emotional scenes. During peak 
hallucinatory periods, subjects frequently 
crossed the Rubicon of complete halluci- 
nation. They described themselves as ac- 
tually becoming part of the imagery and 
stopped using similes in their reports, as- 
serting that the images were real. In this 
state, images changed as frequently as ten 
times per second. Bui even at the height of 
phantasmagoria, constants appeared 
among psychonauts. 

A review of 500 LSD experiences re- 
vealed that between 62 and 72 percent of 
the subjects saw similar simple-form con- 
stants, while more than 79 percent re- 
ported similar complex images. 

"We are finding correspondences of 
chemical and electrical properties in the 
brain, linked with what the individual sees 
in his mind's eye," Siegel says. "We're 
showing that the subjective world is capa- 
ble of being mapped and understood de- 
spite the billions of pathways and neurons 
present in the nervous system. This will 
ultimately— perhaps in fifty to one hundred 

years— allow us to have complete mastery 
over a scientifically engineered inner world. 
We will be able to recall thoughts and im- 
ages at will and to interpret dreams by ob- 
jective criteria. With that also will come bet- 
ter mental health through new ways of 
communicating with the mentally ill. The 
hallucinating schizophrenic, for example, 
may not be dissimilar to the hallucinating 
drug patient, with whom we can now com- 
municate very effectively." 

For most scientists, achieving the first full 
understanding of hallucination would be an 
all-consuming task, but not for Siegel. Be- 
sides his studies, this Renaissance man 
■ ieaches at UCLA, serves as an editorial 
referee for nine prestigious journals, runs a 
forensic-medicine practice specializing in 
drug-related deaths, and is a volunteer at 
UCLA's Veterans' Administration Hospital 

He has also found time to write classic 
papers on the effects of such herbal reme- 
dies as ginseng, kola, and nontobacco 
cigarettes and reports of experiments with 
the imaginary playmates of young children. 
As an avocation, Siegel owns a research- 
and-development company called Moshka 
Laboratories, which investigates new 
sources of drugs— including a cocaine 
chewing gum. He writes prizewinning 
poetry, is a capable artist, and has even 
invented a machine that projects hal- 
lucinatory images directly onto the retina of 
the eye. In early trials of FOCUS (Flexible 
Optical Control Unit Stimulator), subjects 
couldn't tell the machine's images from re- 
ality. What's more, subjects demonstrated 
the same bocli y responses as they would 
have by taking a drug. FOCUS seems to 
turn people on without drugs. 

In recent years Siegel has become one 
of the leading forensic authorities on drug 
abuse. He was consulted on such land- 
mark cases as the Leslie Van Houten "Hel- 
ler Skelter" trials, where LSD intoxication 
was a major issue, and Massachusetts v. 
Miller, in which cocaine laws were declared 
unconstitutional for the first time. Today 
Siegel is consulted constantly in drug 
cases. "I probably get called on one drug- 
related homicide a day. and many rapes 
and robberies," he reports. "This year 
alone I've been called to testify in court for 
over seventy cases." 

Robert C. Petersen, assistant director of 
the National Institute on Drug Abuse, holds 
Siegel in the highest esteem. "Ron's a 
highly imaginative, creative psychologist, 
and one of the most competent guys in his 
area," he says. 

In the middle of this cyclone of activity, 
Siegel, a dedicated vegetarian, somehow 
manages to keep in good enough shape to 
run 3:15 marathons. And he looks it. 

Siegel's lean, compact frame moves 
quickly around his apartment, which is 
filled with rare-drug books, Huichol yarn 
paintings, iridescent oils by an artist 
stoned on yage (a hallucinogenic plant 
found in South America), and sketches by 
clinical subjects strung out on LSD. The 
psychologist's knife-edged face, green 

eyes, and sandy, longish hair are reminis- 
cent of a younger, more penetrating Dick 
Cavett, He is thirty-six years old. 
■ Over a dark, steaming cup of coffee — 
the only drug he'uses personally— Siegel 
digresses about the drugs he deals with so 
intently in the lab. "I'd like to see laws more 
in tune with psychopharmacological real- 
ity. There is a notion in our country today 
that drugs are mag cslel xirslral w II :rans- 
form people into either geniuses or ma- 
niacs. They're not. There are dangerous, 
homicidal, combative people who take 
drugs, however, and become more so. But 
it's not the drug, it's too personality. The 
drug triggers the underlying personality 

and any pathology that may be there. It 
never ceases to amaze me how much resis- 
tance we have built up to accepting that 
very simple fact. 

"One can make a very strong, evo Libr- 
ary, historical argument that our species-, 
as well as others, has always used these 
compounds to__alter our states of arousal 
and our moods." 

This forms the premise of Natural Intoxi- 
cation, a book Siege- 1 is now preparing, 
"We are not the only animal that furns on," 
he observes. Since the days of the dino- 
saurs—whoso demise S:f;gel attributes in 
part to drug overdoses from prehistoric 
vegetation--a host of animals have pur- 

posefully intoxicated themselves. 

Elephants eai the fermented fruits of 
several trees, which contain 7 percent al- 
cohol. Some grazing animals live for years 
on hallucinogenic jimsonweed. Birds in 
Hawaii ingest the mescaline-containing 
San Pedro cactus. Chimpanzees gobble 
marijuana. Cats nibble catnip. Boars, por- 
cupines, and gorillas trip out on plants con- 
taining the psycnodolic ibogaine. Reindeer 
feed on Amanita muscaria mushrooms, 
and virtually everyone has heard the story 
■ of how humankind discovered coffee by 
observing Abyssinian goats getting frisky 
after eating the fruit of the coffee tree. 

Siegel paints his discoveries about the 
pervasiveness of drugs in near-Darwinian 
hues. What, he asks, if the tendency of 
■ many animals and most mammals is to- 
ward intoxication and the consumption of 
psychoactive drugs 7 If that is true, might 
there not be an evolutionary drive toward 
intoxication rather than sobriety? Perhaps 
as species respond to increasingly com- 
plex environmental and social stresses, in- 
toxication becomes a most natural state of 
affairs in the animal kingdom. Our societal 
respect for sobriety may be an unnatural 
cultural restraint on natural evolutionary 

"In Natural Intoxication," Siegel says, 
"I'm exploring why we have drug use. how 
it's naturally evolved, and why it will proba- 
bly always be with us. It doesn't have to be 
abuse, and it doesn't have to be detrimen- 
tal to the individual or society. This book will 
illustrate that intoxication is a natural be- 
havior, acceptable in our species and 
perhaps essential for our survival." 

The human drive toward intoxication, 
Siegel believes, is an outgrowth of "our 
pure curiosity. We've always explored both 
our interior and our exterior universes. 
We've been explorers— and adventurous 
ones— utilizing every tool at our disposal. 
Interest in intoxication is a natural out- 
growth of our inner compulsion to try new 
things, to find out about our environment." 

If drugs are a natural compulsion, how 
should they best be used? "Right now," 
Siegel admits, "there is no medically 
accepted use for them. Therefore, they 
remain classified under the Controlled 
Substances' Act of 1970. There are some 
medical uses that are generally not ac- 
cepted: Marijuana has some use in the 
treatment of glaucoma, as an analgesic for 
cancer victims, and- as an antiemetic in 
chemotherapy. There are some research 
data that suggest LSD and other psyche- 
delics may help terminal patients and al- 
coholics. I think these suggestions should 
be more fully explored and researched in 
clinical practice. 

"In terms of recreational use, I think 
drugs have potential as an educational 
tool. They let us experience a wide range of 
mental and emotional phenomena that 
provide a rich substratum for learning." 

Unfortunately, "Siegel declares, hal- 
lucinogens today aren't being put to any 
good use, not even good hallucination. 

58 OMNI 

"According to the eleven street-drug- 
analysis labs scattered across the United 
States, we know the average potency of an 
LSD dose is fifty micrograms, less than the 
threshold needed to elicit a full psychedel- 
ic experience. 

"People are using LSD today just like 
beer. They spend the day at Disneyland or 
go to a movie. I'm not saying this isn't fun. 
But I think it's a misuse of a very potent 
agent. I fear that psychedelics have lost 
that philosophical message that came with 
their widespread introduction in the Sixties. 
People today often have no regard for the 
potential of psychedelics, for the doors of 
perception they can open in the mind. I 
think this is almost sacrilegious." 

In the future drugs will become legal, 
more natural, and much more specialized, 
Siegel expects-. "When we talk aboul natu- 
ral intoxicants and recreational drugs, we'll 
probably have a variety of them to appeal 
to different types of personalities. We'll 
probably need a stimulant, a tranquilizer, 

<m Siegel believes 
we crave intoxication. . , , 

Our curiosity 

creates an evolutionary 

drive toward 

drugs, a natural behavior, 

acceptable, even 

essential for survival 3 

and a euphoro-hallucinogen. Safe psy- 
chedelics that go beyond caffeine, aspirin, 
alcohol, and nicotine, I don't think we have 
a suitable stimulant. Cocaine comes close, 
but a better product would probably be 
some kind of coca preparation to keep the 
dosage down. We don't really have a natu- 
ral tranquilizer, although kava root from the 
South Pacific may be useful. As a eupho- 
ro-hallucinogen, psilocybin, which comes 
from mushrooms, looks extremely exciting. 
But none of these have been adequately 
investigated, and certainly our molecular 
chemists can design even better drugs. 

"These new drugs will perform the same 
general function as their current counter- 
parts," Siegel believes, "but they'll do it 
better, safer, cleaner. We'll be able to elim- 
inate the physical side effects, the bad trips. 
The perfect drug will get in and out of the 
body quickly, will have few bodily effects, 
and will affect only those centers of sensa- 
tion and perception we want affected." 

In this way drugs will become less 
frightening, more controllable, and far 
more useful to the general population. 
Siegel feels. They will change the way we 
think and the way' we live. 

Sophisticated psychopharmacology 
opens exciting new vistas in the develop- 
ment and control of mental activities. . 
"These drugs will give us control, and 
through control we will achieve power," 
Siegel predicts. "We shall also achieve 
greater insight to temper our expanded 
mental abilities." 

The most valuable outgrowth of Siegel's 
research, though, may have more to do 
with brotherhood than with brain control. 
His cross-cultural studies of drug visions 
have found that the constants of hallucina- 
tion transcend cultural boundaries. Every- 
one has the same basic experiences. 

Weston LaBarres, a Duke University an- 
thropologist, notes the. importance of such 
findings; "Anthropologists are so used to 
cross-cultural differences that when we 
see something physiologically similar, we 
prick up our ears. I like and respect 
Siegel's work." 

"There is a universal common de- 
nominator of behavior, "Siegel asserts. "It's 
something similar to what Jung called the 
collective unconscious, typified by sym- 
bols like the mandala. Whether you use that 
kind of labeling or choose to call it some- 
thing else, the fact remains that, given an 
infinite variety of stimulations, the brain 
seems to respond in finite ways. 

"Fever delirium, epilepsy, syphilis, 
photostimulation, sensory deprivation, ex- 
treme hunger, cold, or thirst, crystal gazing, 
swinging in the witch's cradie, hypogly- 
cemia, and a variety of drug intoxications 
all make the brain respond in patterns that 
are definable, predictable, and explain- 
able in terms of where they came from and 
how they were produced." 

Siegel feels that religious exaltations, 
such as satori and samadhi yoga, follow 
similar descriptions, as do other, more far- 
fetched experiences. 

Life after death? "The experiences re- 
corded by people who have allegedly 
suffered a clinical death and have been 
subsequently resuscitated are virtually 
identical with hallucinatory drug images." 

UFOs? "We've found an uncanny par- 
allel between the experiences of UFO 
abductees and the phenomena of drug- 
induced visions. 

"That's not to detract from the romanti- 
cism or novelty of these visions, or their 
utility in inspiring creative endeavors or giv- ' 
ing support to transcendental experi- 
ences. But it is to say that they are very 
similar for all people. I think this reflects the 
common biological wiring of Homo sapi- 
ens. The specific content may differ, but 
the geometric format of these visions— the 
colors, tints, saturation, brightness, move- 
ment—will be the same for Huichol Indians 
or residents of San Francisco. 

"There is a harmony in the interior land- 
scapes of all people," the cartographer of 
consciousness proclaims. "We are very 
much the same, and that should increase 
fraternity with our fellow humans. There is a 
brotherhood of man subjectively as well as 
objectively." DO 

lan a speeding t 


^; h W |ifr»i>f^iQBmSi 

ard, shielded forever by slowed li 

space— a black hole. 

If the star is the size of our sun or smalle 

radiation into the nigh! 


a terminal explosion bu- ils end is neither a 
black hole nor a white dwarf. What was 
once a large, red ball ot glowing gas, with a 
weak magnetic field threading its center, is 
condensed into a white-hot, rapidly spin- 
ning ball of ultradense neutrons, with stiff 
magnetic appendages stretching out on 
either side. Surrounding this tiny, shocked 
ball of neutrons are the diaphanous outer 
Tlayers of the original star. Thrust by its mag- 
netic field away from the cast-off shell, the 
neutron star flies off into the blackness to 
start a new life— as a planet. 

It's not a promising start for something 
you'd describe as earthlike, and the differ- 
ences are enormous. Although hotter than 
most stars and more massive than its dull 
white dwarf neighbors, a neutron "star" is 
not a star Stars are njge bal;s of burning 
gas. warm and fuzzy on the outside and hot 
and. dense on the inside, A neutron star has 
a hoi, dense interior, but it is a ball of liquid 
neutrons, not gas. The outside does not 
have the soft atmosphere of a normal sun. 
Instead, it has a hot, glowing, crystalline 
crust of iron nuclei. 

The neutron star has a mass half that of 
the sun, but a diameter of only 20 kilome- 
ters. The gravity >icld at its surface is about 
70 billion times as strong as Earth's. When 
first formed, the star spins at more than 
1,000 revolutions per second, but it slows 
rapidly. After a few thousand years it re- 
volves only about five times per second. 
(The fastest-spinning neutron star known is 

the one at the center of the Crab Nebula, 
the remnants of a supernova that hap- 
pened on July 4, 1064. It is spinning at 
30.22 revolutions per second, slightly fast- 
er than most electric motors.) 

If the original star had a magnetic field of 
a few hundred gauss, as our sun does 
(Earth's is only half a gauss), the field is 
trapped in the hot gases and concentrated 
as the star collapses— to a strength of 1 
trillion gauss. Since a star's magnetic fields 
are not near the spin poles, as they are on 
planets, but poke out of the sunspots near 
Ihe equator, the neutron star's magnetic 
field also sticks out at odd angles. 

At the star's center is a 14-kilometer core 
of liquid neutrons, with a density of more 
than 700 million tons per cubic centimeter. 
Over this is a two-kilometer-thick mantle of 
crystalline neutrons and nuclei. Already the 
density has dropped to 1 million tons per 
cubic centimeter. Here the pressure is low 
enough for some of the protons and neu- 
trons to combine into atomic nuclei. Most 
are elements from the middle of the 
periodic table— manganese, iron, nickel, 
and zinc. 

The crust consists of neutron-rich nuclei, 
mostly iron, The density near Ihe surface is 
only seven tons per cubic centimeter, a 
drop of 140,000 times in only one kilometer. 
As the star coois and shrinKs, the crust 
wrinkles as it attempts to fit itself to the 
liquid interior. Mountain ranges raise their 
masses many centimeters high against the 

tremendous gravity, il takes a billion times 
as much energy to raise a bit of the neutron 
star's surface ten centimeters as it does to 
lift a rock ten kilometers over Earth. 

Above the crust is an "atmosphere" of 
metallic vapor that thins rapidly with height 
Atop the tallest mountains, fully 15 cen- 
timeters high, the-atmosphere's density 
has dropped to one twentieth of surface 

Cracks tens of meters long and a kilo- 
meter deep rend the crust, releasing 
volcanoes of liquid neutrons laced with 
electrons. Iron-vapor clouds rise to the 
stratosphere almost 15 centimeters over- 
head, brightening Ihe countryside for me- 
ters around. Because temperatures in- 
crease with depth and the liquid neutrons 
undergo radioactive decay as they rise to 
the surface, the lava releases enough en- 
ergy to maintain its flow against gravity. 
Volcanoes build up lava shields many mil- 
limeters high and hundreds of meters 
across, slowly changing the weight dis- 
tribution of the neutron star. Finally, they 
cause starquakes. 

Starquakes change the height of a lava 
shield or mountain range by a few millime- 
ters in the star's 70-billion-g gravity field. 
Because the neutron star is rotating, its 
magnetic field gives off pulses of radio 
waves each time it comes around, just like 
the lamp in a lighthouse. The star's enor- 
mous rotational inertia keeps the pulses 
very regular; they can be timed to parts in a 


billion. When a cense range of mountains 
rises orfalls in astarquake, the star's inertia 
and spin speed change. We have detected 
these changes after quakes on neutron 
stars up to 5.000 light-years away. 

Mountain ranges, volcanoes, quakes, an 
atmosphere— ihese are very earthlike fea- 
tures to find in an environment so alien. Is 
Ihere any reason, then, to rule out the pres- 
ence of life as well? Probably not. And the 
similarities between our environments, 
combined with the basic needs of life itself, 
might well give us much in common with 
these alien beings. 

One of life's most characteristic features 
is complexity: this is especially true of intel- 
ligent life. There is plenty of opportunity for 
complexity on a neutron star. Compare 
possible neutron-star beings with man; A 
70-kilogram human, composed of an esti- 
mated 10 25 atoms, shows some signs of 
intelligence. An intelligent neutron-star 
being could probably get by with 10 25 nu- 
clei. Since most of an atom's mass is in the 
nucleus, such a being would also weigh 
about 70 kilograms. 

While terrestrial life forms are made of 
carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and 
traces of other elements, neutron-star life 
would be formed-mostly of iron nuclei, the 
predominant element in the crust. To pro- 
vide complexity, there would be many 
isotopes of iron, some more neutron-rich 
than others, and traces of elements near 
iron in the periodic table. 

The atomic nuclei would not have captive 
electron clouds to keep them isolated from 
one another. Instead, they would share a 
sea of free electrons. The nuclei would be 
so near one another that they could 
exchange neutrons, forming "nuclear- 
bonded macrornolecules" as easily as 
human atoms join by trading electrons. 
Since a typical atomic nucleus is about one 
millionth the size of an atom, nuclear 
molecules will react about a million times 
faster than the atomic molecules in our 
bodies do, 

One possible form for an intelligent 
neutron-star being would be a flat, 
amoebalike creature about five millimeters 
in diameter and half a millimeter high, Pack- 
ing 70 kilograms into this volume gives a 
density 7 million times that of water, equal 
to the star's crust. 

Life on Earth exists because of the sun, 
Photons come pouring down onto the 
leaves of plants, and the chlorophyll 
molecules capture some of their energy to 
make food. Some of it becomes waste 
heat, which the plant empties into the at- 
mosphere through the transpiration pores 
in its leaves. Then at night the atmosphere 
releases its load of heat into the dark sky, 
which has a temperature only three de- 
grees above absolute zero. 

For neutron-star life, the situation is re- 
versed. This" 'plants, instead of spreading 
their leaves to catch the hot sunlight, must 
use them to "see" Ihe cold sky. With a tap- 
root into the hot, neutron-rich crust and a 
strong supporting stem to lift the top por- 

tions off the hot surface, "plants" could run 
a food cycle by using the temperature dif- 
ference between the crust and their cold 

Picture life on a neutron star: The power- 
ful magnetic field dominates all movement 
everywhere on the star. The flow of volcanic 
lava, the fall of a landslide, and the pas- 
sage of vibrations through the atmosphere 
or crust all travel preferentially along the 
magnetic-field lines, 

Even the nuclei that make up the star's 
crust and inhabitants are affected, Inside 
each atomic nucleus there are positively 
charged protons in rapid motion Magnetic 
fields exert a force on moving charges, and 

the field of a neutron star is so strong that it 
is many times easier to move along the 
magnetic field lines than across them. The 
usually spherical iron nucleus is stretched 
into a cigar ten times longer than it is wide. 
A neutron-star being at a magnetic pole is 
ten times taller than one at the equator, A 
being at the equator is ten times wider to- 
ward the magnetic poles than transversely. 
However, since their eyes are affected in 
the same way, the beings do not notice the 

The creatures themselves find it many 
limes easier to travel along the magnetic- 
field lines than across them. Moving across 
Ihe magnetic field sets up electrical cur- 

rents in their bodies that cause a magnelic 
"drag." It's like trying to force a path 
through a room strung wilh rubber bands. If 
the beings push hard enough, the field 
lines move aside to let them through, yet 
still resist with considerable force. The 
minute the beings slop moving, the cur- 
rents die away and the magnetic field re- 
enters their bodies, pinning them to the 
field lines like beads strung on a wire 

Vision is quite different for neutron-star 
beings. Since they are tiny, their eyes are so 
small that they must see by ultraviolet light 
and soft X rays. Living on a neutron star is 
like living in the middle of a charcoal fire. 
There sun or moon overhead; the 
"light" comes from the hot crust of the star 
itself. Everything is whitish-yellow on the 
bottom, shading to deep red on top, where 
the surface faces the cold sky. The beings 
themselves glow white-hot, and their eyes 
are raised on stalks to avoid being blinded 
by their own internal radiance. 

Since the star's gravity is what keeps the 
beings dense enough to exist, they will 
have a hard time developing spaceflight. If 
a neutron-star being were placed in free 
fall, the repulsion between their positively 
charged protons would drive the nuclei 
apart. As the distance increased, the elec- 
trons, which under pressure flowed as a 
"liquid" around the nuclei, would attach 
themselves to specific nuclei, forming nor- 
mal atoms. Soon the creature would have 
expanded by a factor of 100 in each direc- 

tion, its density dropping by 1 million, until it 
had been transformed into a weirdly 
shaped, and very dead, chunk, of .glowing 
nickel-iron alloy 

To leave home without blowing up, the 
neutron-star beings will have to take their 
own gravity with them. They must either 
invent a lightweight gravily generator for 
their spacecraft or take some miniature 
black holes along. 

A nucleonic space cruiser big enough to 
hold three or four dozen neutron beings 
and their equipment would be a sphere the 
size of a golf ball. If the ship had a stiff shell 
of neutron-star crystal with a black hole of 
1 1 billion tons mass in the center, the gravity 
on the surface, though far below that of the 
neutron star, would be enough to keep its 
passengers from exploding. Small flitters 
designed to carry just one being at a time 
need be only about five millimeters in di- 
ameter—the size of a mustard seed. They 
could use miniature black holes of only 200 
million tons mass. 

The large space cruiser would have to 
stay well away from human beings. Its grav- 
ity Meld, even 15 meters away, would be 
one-third g. Any closer than that and the 
person would be sucked onto the space- 
craft, The smaller sphere could come 
within a meter, so that an observer could 
actually see the glowing-hot being astride 
it. Even at that, the gravity field on the per- 
son's nose would be three gravities! 

We could never visit the surface of a 


neutron star, of course, but the two cultures 
might meet in orbit around the star, Looking 
■ at a human, neutron-star beings would see 
a huge "violet" skeleton with gaping holes 
for eyes, each larger than the caldera ol a 
neutron-star volcano. Between the eye 
sockets, a cavern deeper and longer than a 
neutron-star Grand Canyon would slash 
down toward two rows of dense, violet- 
white teeth standing like two mountain 
ranges, one atop the other. Flesh and hair 
would" appear as a "blue-white" short- 
ultraviolet outline surrounding the skeleton, 
with clothing-showing up as a faint 
"reddish-yellow" wisp in the long-ultraviolet 
part of the spectrum, 

Since the molecules in a neutron-star 
being react a million times faster than ours, 
the tjeings would live, think, reproduce, 
and die a million times faster than we do. A 
human year would be equal to a million of 
their years — enough for their species to 
evolve. One human day would equal 2,500 
of their years, enough for the rise and fall of 
great empires. Thirty human minutes would 
cover the life span of a neutron-star being, 
with perhaps only 15 minutes available for 
conversation with our scientists during the 
creature's adult phase. 

A chat with the slow-witted, slow-moving 
humans would try the most patient of the 
neutron-star beings. A human word would 
take a day, a sentence a week. We could . 
learn a great deal from a life form that knew 
as much about nuclear physics as we know ~ 
about molecular chemistry, but we had 
both better use computers to speed the 
actual dialogue. 

The time difference also means that we 
could not spend very long in useful discus- 
sion. 'If we were fortunate enough to meet a 
neutron-star race when they had just 
started to develop intelligence, they would 
be interested in talking with us for only a few 
days. After that, they would have pro- 
gressed the equivalent of thousands of 
years ahead of us. They could inadvert- 
ently ruin our civilization by-telling us more 
than we could handle, either physically or 

Life on a neutron star? Some would say it 
is impossible, since there are no seas to 
form the primordial soup and the tempera- 
ture of even a white-hot neutron star is 
close to absolute zero, as nuclear energies 
go. But it is not hard to "prove" that life 
cannot exist on Earth. The intense ul- 
traviolet radiation from our. sun is enough to 
break any molecular bond that has the. 
temerity to form, and everyone knows that 
oxygen is hydrocarbon life. What 
oxygen doesn't poison, it burns, especially 
when triggered by the terrible lightning 
storms that ravage, the globe. Life on Earth? 
Ridiculous! S' 

So. if one day you see a'ball of light pass 
rapidly overhead, then find yourself pulled 
offbalance by the gravitational tug of an 
incandescent golf ball many meters off, 
just wave to it. The crew doesn't have all 
week to waste listening to you say, "Hello! 
Welcome to Earth!"OQ 

There are some marvelous benefits ahead for 
mankind. But along with every benefit will come a 
whole new set of problems. 

Champion is a forward-looking forest products 
company. We plant seeds for a living. Seeds that 
take from 25 to 50 years to become mature trees. 
Therefore, we think a lot about The Future of the for- 
est. And, of the people who will be around to buy our 
products in the years to come. 

So, during the coming year, in magazine ads like 
this, we will continue our program of discussing 
some of the potential cultural and sociological im- 
pacts of future technology and change — to help you 
make intelligent choices. 

You might say, we're planting seeds of thought 
for tomorrow. 

The Future is 

But only you 
can decide 
where it's going. 

Lord Kelvin, the eminent nineteenth cen- 
tury physicist, once predicted: "X-rays will 
prove to be a hoax"; "Aircraft flight is impossi- 
ble"; and "Radio has no future." 

Octave Chanute, an aviation pioneer said 
in 1904: "The Iflyingl machines will eventually 
be fast, they will be used in sport, but they are 
not to be thought of as commercial carriers." 

Henry L. Ellsworth, U.S. Commissioner of 
Patents in 1844, a man who should have known 
better, said: "The advancement of the arts (of 
invention] from year to year.. .seems to presage 
the arrival of that period when further im- 
provement must end." 

In a comment on this kind of "technological 
pessimism," science writer Arthur C. Clarke, 
in Profiles oftheFuture, said: "When a distin- 
guished but elderly scientist states that some- 
thing is possible, he is almost certainly right. 
When he states that something is impossible, 
he is very probably wrong." 

Obviously, we can't leave The Future just 
to the experts. As intelligent and well-informed 
as they are, they are not infallible. 

Collectively, we all have to take responsi- 
bility forthe future. It doesn't just happen to 
us. We must learn all we can from the past. 
And use it to help us in the years to come. 

The human race is now making choices 

that may well determine our long-term future. 
No one knows the precise nature of these 
choices, but futurists agree that our actions 
today will reverberate throughout the years 

As a company whose entire being is based 
on the tree, a renewable resource that takes 
from 25 to 50 years to mature, we have always 
been particularly concerned about the pros- 
pects of future generations of forests and of 
future generations of people. 

So it seems only natural for us to consider 
some of the situations that futurists foresee for 
the coming generations. And to discuss some 
of the choices that will have to be made. 

In magazine pages like this, we will con- 
tinue to look at some of the major issues that 
can affect us all in the years to come. 

If you have any doubts about The Future 
remember this: many of the supposedly "un- 
solvable" problems of past generations have 
been very successfully solved. For example, we 
now have insulin for diabetics, ships that fly to 
the moon and an effective polio vaccine. 

If you agree that The Future consists of a 
variety of alternatives, that choice is unavoid- 
able and that refusing to choose is itself a 
choice, you have taken the first step toward a 
more active role in your own future. You can 
learn more by sending for a free brochure 
about the critical issues we face inThe Future 
and a bibliography for further reading. Write: 
Champion International Corporation 
Dept. 200N, P.O. Box 10143 
Stamford, Connecticut 06921 


a forest products company with 

its roots planted firmly 

in the future. 

We are in the forest products business. 
We plant trees, grow trees, harvest 
trees. And from trees we make wood 
building products. Plus fine paper tor prii 
and business. And paper packaging for 
shipping and selling, 
Because we make our living from the 
forest, our success depends, in one 
way or another, on the future, And 
we re planning— and planting— for it. 

Champion International Corporation ■ 

Planting seeds for the future 

The foremost critic of 
bureaucracy discusses his 
unorthodox views of 
big government, population, 
and a new campaign 
to end forced retirement 


| f* |ork expands to fill the lime available for its comple- 
1' I I l ,ion - The wit and simplicity of this law, first published 
U ^^20 years ago in Parkinson's Law, or the Pursuit of 
Progress, made C. Northcote Parkinson famous the world over. His 
law made the labyrinths ot bureaucratic process understandable 
to a generation. Then a history professor at the University of 
Malaya, Parkinson became suddenly fashionable as people grew 
more conscious of the pitfalls of bureaucracy. Since publishing his 

law, Parkinson has held visiting professorships at Harvard and the 

1 universities of Illinois and California, and he has lectured at the 
9 French and U.S. naval academies. Celebrated author, historian, 
1 and journalist, Parkinson, now seventy, lives in semiretirement in 
& Guernsey. He still travels widely, particularly to Scandinavia, where 
I" he is regarded as a prophet of bureaucratic reform; Great Britain 
s (whose prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, is a committed Parkin- 
| sonian); and the United States, where he often appears on televi- 
I sion. Parkinson is a professor emeritus at Troy State University, in 

Alabama. He has published two books recently: The Law: Stilt in 
Pursuit (John Murray. 1979) and The Law of Longer Life (written 
jointly with Dr. H. LeComte, Troy State University Press, 1980), in 
which he turns Irom criticism of waywardness and waste to an 
argument in favor of research on longevity. 

"We need to revise the whole process of government finance," 
Parkinson wrote in The Law and Profits. "Ministers should not 
begin by ascertaining what their departments need. They should 
begin by asking what the country can afford to spend." That is 
what Mrs. Thatcher is trying to do in her U.K. administration. 
During one of Parkinson's visits to London, Omni's European 
editor, Dr. Bernard Dixon, spoke to the professor about his law, 
economics, the social sciences, and his ideas on longevity. One of 
the most precious human resources, Parkinson says, is the wis- 
dom and expertise vested in the elderly. Yet we tend to let those 
talents atrophy. The purpose of an antiaging potion would be to 
maintain, and thus harness, such skills. 

Omni: Have you modified your analysis of 
bureaucratic waste since Parkinson's Law? 
Parkinson: Nothing has happened to 
change my views on staff proliferation and 
"committology"— that is, the needless and 
wasteful growth in the size of committees 
and cabinets. In fac!, there's now even 
more evidence to show how right t was in 
the first instance. 

Omni: Most of the examples you put for- 
ward then were British-. Can you cite any 
American cases? 

Parkinson: Yes. When the bridge connect- 
ing San Francisco with Oakland was built, a 
team. of painters was hired. This was to be a 
permanent job: They would start at one 
end, finish at the other, and go back to the 
beginning again — a good job with a pen- 
sion. Twelve men were employed, but they 
soon came back and said they needed 
reinforcements. So their number was in- 
creased to fourteen, which I suspect is the 
right one. Some twenty or thirty years later, 
though, the figure had risen to seventy- 
seven. At the same time, the job had been 
mechanized and simplified by the intro- 
duction of paint sprayers. I should perhaps 
emphasize that it was the same bridge: 
Oakland and San Francisco remained 
exactly the same distance apart. Then 
along came Governor Reagan, who started 
off with the very best of intentions as a 
reforming, economizing governor, and all 
his efforts sufficed to bring the number 
down to about fifty-five, What has hap- 

pened since, I don't know, but I suspect the 
number of men has probably again risen to 
seventy-seven or maybe beyond. 

The disturbing thing about this statistic is 
that it concerns manual, not clerical, work. 
It raises an awful suspicion that the same 
law that I discovered for administration 
twenty years ago may apply to manual 
work, too. 

Omni: Does this phenomenon extend be- 
yond the United State:;'? 
Parkinson: The real distinction is not be- 
tween countries but between businesses 
with balance sheets and those without. So 
long as there is no balance sheet, and gov- 
ernment does not produce one, there is 
nothing to combat proliferation. Similarly 
there is nothing to prevent proliferation of 
monopolistic, rather than competitive, 

Omni: How little competition constitutes a 

Parkinson: I suspect tha! when the 
number of companies in a given industry is 
as tew as five, they probably will have 
agreed with one another on wages, prices, 
qualities, and everything else. 
Omni: Have you noticed the same sort of 
waste and inefficiency in science, which is 
now increasingly concerned with interna- 
tional corporations, big machines, big sci- 
ence, and therefore, inevitably, bureauc- 

Parkinson: Yes, I see considerable waste 
in two^areas. First, the majority of people 

holding scientif c posts a-e quite incapable 
of any important research in their own sub- 
jects. They are busy, of course, but those 
actually contributing to science are rela- 
tively few. Meeting scientists, I have found 
one interesting rule to be applicable: A 
mediocre scientist \§ interested only in 
geophysics, microbiology, or whatever, 
while a really good scientist invariably has 
a wide range of interests, probably extend- 
ing to art, literature, or music. I first noticed 
this with higher-ranking officers in the 
armed forces after.World War II. The excel- 
lent general or admiral was always some- 
body who had far wider interests than 
merely soldiering orsailoring. 

Second, there is an absurd multiplication 
of scientific journals I first realized this 
when I was working at an American univer- 
sity, a first-rate place, and I talked to the 
librarian about his problems. He said that a 
large part of his staff did nothing but file 
and cross-index astronomical numbers of 
scientific journals. As an example, he sub- 
scribed to seventy journals in dentistry 
alone. I found this mind-boggling for a sub- 
ject that woutd appear to be of rather lim- 
ited scope. 

Omni: But why hasn't the market out this 
right? More journals are now published by 
commercial publishers on behalf of 
learned societies, and budgets are tight for 
librarians and individuals. 
Parkinson: Scientific journals are not in- 
tended to be read. They are printed to sup- 
port the prestige ot their contributors. De- 
spite the austerity you mention, in the 
academic world the motto is still "Publish or 
perish," To support your position as an as- 
sociate professor, to forward your ambition 
of someday becoming a full professor, you 
must regularly publish articles in your sub- 
ject. Imagine that the accepted journal in 
dentistry, nuclear physics, or whatever re- 
fuses your articles. The best answer is to 
start a new journal with yourself as editor, 
thus yielding a very fair chance of getting 
your articles accepted. Of course there are 
others whose articles are declined by your 
journal: so they set up their own. Eventually 
you have successive collections of articles 
rejected by earlier journals in the series, 
and presumably the articles are getting 
worse and worse, Like speeches made at 
annual conferences (which people don't 
listen to, because the real business takes 
place in the bars and saloons around the 
fringe), the great thing is getting the credit 
for making a speech or presenting a paper, 
Omni: One feature of the past two dec- 
ades has been the growth of United Na- 
tions agencies and of mammoth interna- 
tional conferences on such subjects as the 
environment, food, and Third World devel- 
opment. Do you think they do useful work? 
Parkinson: Here, too. we are stifling our- 
selves with paperwork and documentation. 
Our respect for science leads us to imag- 
ine that we can't decide on a solution of a 
problem until we comprehensively under- 
stand it. So we must collect slatistical and 
other data, Say that you have riots breaking 



If anyone paints 

in space, it should be Bob McCali: 

He's ail packed 



Vtist in residence— in 
space? Why not. Eventually an artist will record the 
wonders of space firsthand while spending a week in 
orbit aboard the space shuttle. Prime candidate for this 
honor is space artist Robert T. McCali. 

More people have bought more reproductions of 
McCall's work than of any other space artist's. Usually 
the owner turns it over, licks it, and mails it to someone 
else. Six U.S. commemorative postage stamps issued 
in the past ten years bear McCali reproductions, among 
them Skylab , Apollo/Soyuz, the Pioneer flight to Jupiter, 
and the Viking missions to Mars. His Decade of 
Achievement double stamp was hand-canceled on the 
moon by astronaut David Scott during the Apollo 15 
mission. McCali is working on another stamp right now 

The heroic mural McCali designed for the National Air 
and Space Museum, in Washington, DC, has been 
seen by 40 million visitors. Two other large murals were 
completed by the artist at NASA centers in California 
and Texas. McCali helped interpret the beginnings of 
the Space Age for Life magazine by rendering dozens 

ot on-the-spot paintings from his vantage point at Cape Canaveral, Florida and 
ater became a key contributor to the NASA art program. He created the promo- 
tional art for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and submitted futuristic 
concepts for such films as Star Trek and Meteor and tor Walt Disney studios 

McCall wants to go into orbit. Broad-shouldered and now sixty he keeps fit and 
exercises purposefully so that he can accept the NASA invitation it and when it 
comes. Comfortably dressed for work in a faded jump suit splashed with vivid 
daubs of paint, he asserts. "Of course I want to go. I want to see how the view and 
perspective chan ge when you're not standing on Earth ... and to experience 

Preceding page: Concept ol spaceship for Black Hole; one-man space robot Above Nfc 
tropolis 4000, Disney studios' gfarj space slat/on. Right: Astronaut firing maneuvering unit. 

il'd like to communicate the sense of what it's like up (here.? 

weightlessness, observe others; to sort out the emo- 
tional impact of being in space and to put it on canvas. 
I'd give it my best." 

McCall's best has always been outstanding. Born in 
Ohio, he won a scholarship and studied at the Colum- 
bus Art School. "As a kid. I liked airplanes because they " 
were dramatic and moved fast. I drew knights in armor, 
and I guess my paintings of astronauts in space suits 
are analogous— adventurous men risking everything, 
facing new challenges." 

As an illustrator in New York in 1949. McCall worked 
for Collier's, Saturday Evening Post, and several adver- 
tising firms. His interest in flight did not abate. He sent a 
"To Whom It May Concern" letter to Life magazine to- 
gether with a portfolio of his World War II combat illustra- 
tions. "I told them I believed man would be going to the 
moon, that I wanted to watch the launch and represent 
them when it happened," he recalls. Life eventually 
acknowledged the artist's query with a "we'll keep you 
in mind." They did. A year later he was commissioned to 
do 20 paintings in observance of the fifteenth anniver- 
sary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sputnik was 
launched the next year. Life soon required illustrations 
depicting the expanding space program. Kubrick's as- 
signment for 2001; A Space Odyssey followed. 

^Future generations should feel proud of 

our accomplishments in 

space... . . . We are destined to explore 

and colonize the universe3 

The talented space artist is astonished that "so few educated people appreciate 
the immensity of space and know so little about the cosmos." A neophyte as- 
tronomer who owns a three-inch reflector telescope. McCall is well aware that the 
view from space is a deep, inky black. The mural at the Air and Space Museum, 
however, is painted "as beautiful and inviting rather than black and ominous. Tome, 
the adventure in space offers incredible opportunities and rewards. 

"Wernher von Braun hoped to fly in space. He wanted to be 'the world's first 
orbiting grandfather.' " McCall paused. Then, softly, "I'd give anything to be.'OO 

Preceding page: Mars astronaut; fueling port. Left: The Future in Johnson Space Cenler mural. 
Above: Shepard, Grissom, and Young in mural detail: manned rockets from NASA/Dryden. 

6 McCall's enthusiasm for science reflects faith in the future. 9 


It was an exclusive hotel —you had 

to kill someone to get in. 
Only the jury could check you out 

The apartment was 
neat, stylish, and com- 
fortable— not al all like 
a machine designed for kill- 
ing people. 

For a few seconds after 
the entrance door had 
locked itself behind him, 
Renfrew stood perfectly 
still, faking stock of the 
place, frying (o identify Ihe 
most likely sources of 
deaih. The kitchen — al- 
ways the most complicated 
room in any habitat— was 
one area that obviously had 
to be avoided. Every parti- 
cle of food and drop of liq- 
uid was suspect in case 
poisons had been adminis- 
tered; the appliances could 
have been wired in such a 
way as lo electrocute the 


unwary user; and the 
bright-lettered canisters 
could be bombs that would 
(■:xp!Ode on removal of iheir 
lids. Even ihe simple act of 
opening a cupboard door 
might release a cloud of 
inslant-acting gas info his 
face, and one startled in- 
take of breath would be 
enough to . . . 

If you want to stay alive, 
Renfrew thought, keep out 
ol the kitchen . 

From his position near 
the entrance he could see 
into the bathroom, and that 
also looked dangerous— 
too many chrome fillings 
that could spring bad sur- 
prises. He was going to 
survive the mandatory 
seven days in Ihe apart- 

ment— of lhat much he was 
sure— but to do so, he 
would have to be fantasti- 
cally careful. The best plan, 
the one he had already de- 
cided upon, was to make 
himself as comfortable as 
possible in the center of the 
living-room floor and lo re- 
main there until Ihe seven 
days were up. It would not 
be easy or pleasant— the 
matter of bodily functions 
alone would see to that— 
bu! it was a straight forward 
choice between life and 
death, and Renfrew much 
preferred being alive. 

He walked info the living 
room and checked i! out 
against his requirements, if 
measured roughly ten by 
ten, had blue wall-to-wall 


carpeting, and was furnished with a 
good-quality settee, easy chairs, and oc- 
casional lables Several original abstracts 
adorned the cream-colored walls. The 
room could have belonged to a youngish, 
intelligent, not excessively trendy person 
living- just about anywhere- between New 
York and Los Angeles— except for two 
atypical features, One was the complete 
absence of windows, and the other was the 
display tube in the wall above the artificial 

On the screen, in pulsing amber sans- 
serif lettering, were two words: jury OUT. 

Renfrew examined trie room critically 
and decided al once that the largest table, 
positioned near Ihe middle of the floor, 
would have to be moved against one.ot the 
. walls to give him the clear central space he 
needed. When the room armed itself 
against him, he was not going lo risk even 
the most fleeting contact with any of the 
a-'lifscrs 1 comained. For all he knew, every 
piece of furniture would begin to ooze con- 
tact poison as soon as Ihe jury returned the 
verdict of guilty, and he wanted to be sure 
he would not roll over in his sleep and touch 

The table was surprisingly heavy when 
he Iried to move it, and tor a moment Ren- 
frew feared it was anchored to the floor He 
changed tactics, pushing instead of lifting, 
and this time the table slid fairly easily, cre- 
ating deep furrows in the carpet. When it 
had come to rest against the wall, he 

stepped back with widespread arms and 
gauged Ihe size of the area he had cleared. 
It appeared ample for his needs. 

This -seems a shade loo easy, he 
thought, his confidence faltering.. Nobody 
knew what percentage of condemned 
murderers actually lasted out the week — it 
was the practice, for humane reasons, to 
whisk survivors off to colony worlds in total 
anonymity and secrecy— but if the system 
could be beaten merely by camping out in 
the center of a room, would they not modify 
it? Was there a chance that the carpet itself 
could become toxic? Or that rapiers would 
zip upward through the floor during the 

No, thai wouldn't be lair, Renfrew de- 
cided, his fears abating somewhat. That 
way the apartment would be nothing more 
than an execution chamber, and the whole 
point of Ihe Capital Punishment Reform Act 
of 2061 was that it removed the awful fore- 
knowledge ot death — the feature of earlier 
systems to which humanitarians had most 
slrongly objected. There had to be some 
prospect of getting through the week alive. 
It was simply a matter of intelligence, de- 
termination, and self-control. And of lasting 
seven days without a drink of water. 

The prison micropedia had been annoy- 
ingly imprecise about how long a man 
could survive on zero liquid intake. Some of 
the quoted authorities had avoided giving 
any estimate at all, and others had been 
content to stale that death would occur 


"Au revoir, actios, aui Wii-iciornohon. good-bye, addid." 

after seven to ten days. The spread, Ren- 
frew supposed, was due to such factors as 
the size, weight, and general health of the 
subject and the rate of water loss from the 
tissues, and in that respect he was doing all 
he could to tip the balance in his favor. He 
was naturally pudgy around the middle, 
and throughout the tour days of his trial he 
had loaded all his food with salt and had 
drunk copiously of tea, coffee, milk, and 
water. His tendency to retain fluids, some- 
thing he had often bemoaned in the past, 
had enabled him to increase his body 
weight by approximately five kilograms- 
equal to four liters of life-giving liquid. 

That alone would probably be sufficient 
to ensure his survival, but Renfrew had 
gone further Knowing in advance that he 
would be stripped of all personal posses- 
sions before being installed in the apart- 
ment,, he had taken time after breakfast to 
spray most of his skin with an antiper- 
spirant, which, fortunately, was quite odor- 
less. He suspected that its effectiveness 
would fade rather quickly but closing his 
pores and preventing evaporation for even 
part ot a day gave him that extra edge in the 
battle for life. Only two more measures re- 
mained to betaken, 

Renfrew glanced at the screen above the 
fireplace, checking that the jurors were still 
deliberating. He had been in the apartment 
less than five minutes, but his defense had 
gone so seriously awry that he was, half- 
prepared for a verdict to be reached in 
record time. Fortesque, the young, state- 
appointed attorney, had tried to make capi- 
tal from the fact that the store security- 
guard shot by Renfrew had himself been 
indicted, for the manslaughter of an un- 
armed kid who had tried to run off with a 
tray of gold rings. The proposal had been 
that Renfrew was defending himself 
against a trigger-happy zealot, but it was 
obvious to Renfrew that the jurors were in 
favor of trigger-happy zealots and would 
have been pleased to employ teams of 
them to safeguard their own property. At 
that point he had begun thinking very hard 
indeed. about ways of surviving for a week 
in— to give the apartment one of its more 
popular labels — the Hereafter Hilton. 

The first, of the remaining precaulions 
was to reduce evaporation of bodily mois- 
ture even further by turning the heat down. 
Renfrew located the thermostat and ad- 
justed it to its lowest level. He then went into 
the kitchen, filled a tumbler with water, and 
began sipping it with the intention of in- 
creasing his fluid reserves. The notion of 
filling all available vessels and laying in a 
week's supply of water was tempting, but 
too dangerous. Any microscopic bubble in 
a glass could be a poison container to be 
opened by remote control as soon as the 
jury had voted. A low but insistent chiming 
sound filled the apartment. He set the tum- 
bler down, went back into the living room, 
and saw that the wording on the screen had 

It now said, jury voting. 

"Vote early and vote often," Renfrew said 



■■you send messages that you 
wouldn't wan! business competitors to 
intercept? Perhaps you cringe 
thought ol a tax audit, ff so, you're going 

..-./ it's seemed thai the 

Revolution would leave us all 

'he world. Anyone with enough 

gall, and the price of a u ■■■ 

lhan we can r 
selves. The insurance industry hasdone 
it. So have the credit bureaus Some 
government agencies do little 
Nowthecomputersthathelp.... . 

/ are giving it back— with 
cryptographic genu — 
have made the breakthrough that i 
builders have dreamed of tor 

i a practical code that 

...... „.„ told them how 

With the right programming, most h< 

: rambling them. 
It's enough to make pro, 
snoops weep. In fact, they've s\ 
publicly against nongovernrr 

based cryptographers with prosecution 
under the State Department's Interna- 
tional Traffic in Arms regulation. Now the 
Defense Department is seeking the 
power to review articles on cryptog- 
raphy and to ban publication of any that it 
considers too informative. 

This round in the battle between pri- 
vacy freaks and code breakers got 
started when Martin Hellman, a thirty- 
?-yeaf-old Stanford University pro- 
ar of electrical engineering, linked 
up with another code junkie, Whitfield 
Diffie. Schooled in symbolic ma the mat - 

y, Diffie had left . 

industry job in California to search i.. 

formally for the perfect code. After study- 

ature, he camped 

, the country, visiting all 

the major centers of cryptographic re- 

:h. Each night he examined the 

technical papers from university 

id corporate labs by firelight. 

At IBM's Yorktown Heights, New York, 

lab, a scientist suggested that he look 

arrived in Palo Alto,' Diffie 
called Hellman, and we each immedi- 
ately found the other to be the most in- 
formed person in this field not governed 
by federal security regulations." 

The problem they were trying to 
is lodged deep in modem code prac- 
" " _ . Most coded messages these days 
computer to another 

«.<;,■ telephone lines. For confirn 
they are also sent by courier. Bi 
doesn't coi 
delays when 
volved. A coi 


can record, the agency's computers can 

Hellman and Difffe concluded that the 
major obstacle to secure transmission of 
data over teleprocessing networks lay in 
distributing the key, the instructions that tell 
the recipienl how to decipher a message. 
"Tradilionally," Hellman explains, "keys 
have been moved by couriers or registered 
mall. But in an age of instant communica- 
tions it was unrealistic for computer manu- 
facturers to expecl customers to wait days 
for the code to. arrive. What was needed 
was a system immediately accessible to 
users who may never have had prior con- 
tact with each other." 

The idea of sending coded messages to 
total strangers seemed impractical at first. 
■ "In the past," Diffie says, "cryptography 
operated on a strongbox approach. The 
sender uses one key to lock up his mes- 
sage, and the recipient has a matching key 
that unlocks the meaning. As Hellman and I 
talked, we became intrigued by the idea of 
a system that used two different keys — one 
for enciphering and a second for decipher- 
ing. This method would operate like a 
twenty-four-hour bank teller. Any depositor 
can open the machine to put his money in, 
but only the bank has the combination to 
unlock the safe." 

For a long time now messages have been 
translated into high-security codes by 
converting the words into numbers and 
then scrambling the digits mathematically. 
What dawned on Hellman and Diffie was 
that a class ot extraordinarily difficult math- 
ematical problems, known as one-way 
functions, acted like their bank machine. A 
practical code could be built on them. 
Users would be able to list their encoding 
keys in a directory so that anyone could 
send them a coded message. Yet only they 
would have the decoding key. Eavesdrop- 
pers would have no hope of ever decoding 
the transmission. 

What made this practical was the work 
of Ralph Merkle, a young student at the 
University of California at Berkeley. Fasci- 
nated by the notion of a public-key system, 
he began working in one of his undergrad 
courses on a one-way function that could 
be applied to a code. Lying awake at night, 
he visualized atechnique that would permit 
authorized users to decrypt messages that 
baffled eavesdroppers. 

"The idea," he says, "was for A to send B 
a message in a million pieces. One of those 
pieces would be lagged so that B could 
use it to find the decoding Key. But anyone 
else would have to sort at random through 
all the pieces to find ihe right one." 

Merkle's approach did not impress his 
instructor, who considered public-key dis- 
tribution "impractical." Unable to convince 
his Berkeley teacher of the system's prom- 
ise, Merkle dropped his computer course. 
Then. he wrote up his ideas for a computer 
journal. It rejected them as complete trash. 
"When 1 read -the referees' criticisms," 
Merklerecalls, "I realized they didn't know 
what they were talking about." 

86 OMNI 

In the summer of 1976 he finally lound a 
sympathetic reception in the Stanford elec- 
trical engineering department, and his 
work contributed to the breakthrough 
paper on the public-key system. Published 
that November the article, called "New 
Directions in Cryptography," conceded 
that sending out a million pieces to foil 
spies searching for the one that carried the 
key would be too expensive. Hellman and 
Diffie remedied this problem by letting 
each user place his encryplion key in a 
public file, at the same time keeping Ihe 
decoding procedure a secret, 

Since then Ronald Rivest, an MIT com- 
puter-science professor, and his col- 
leagues Adi Shamir and Len Adleman have 
made the code breaker's job even more 
difficult by using a new set of one-way func- 
tions, Their method builds encoding keys 
out of the product of two large prime num- 
bers—numbers that can be divided only 
by themselves and by 1. This generates a 
figure hundreds of digits long. 

£ A practical code built on 

one-way functions 

would work like a bank 

machine: Anyone 
could put a message in, 

but only the 

recipient could get the 

meaning out. 9 

In order to find the decoding key, it is 

necessary to "factor" this giant figure- 
break it down into the original numbers. It 
can't be done, Not even the largest com- 
puters can factor the product of two num- 
bers with more than 50 digits, Only the 
recipient who knows the prime numbers 
used to build his encoding key can retrieve 
the message. 

The public-key system also solves the 
other problem in sending coded mes- 
sages: How do you know the signal does 
not come from an impostor? The Stanford 
and MIT teams have both produced a 
forgery-proof digital signature. 

The encoding and decoding keys, 
though complex, are really just mathemat- 
ical instructions that reverse each other. If 
the code were built on a simple arithmetic 
problem instead of on a one-way function, 
they might say something like "multiply by 
five" or "divide by five." The procedure can 
be used in either direction. 

So to sign a coded message, you just 
reverse the process: Encode your name 
with the secret key you ordinarily use fo 
decode messages. The recipient then 
looks up your public encoding key in the 

directory and uses il to decode the signa- 
ture. Since no one but you could have used 
the secret key, the recipient can be sure it 
was you who sent the message. And since 
the keys are based on a one-way function, 
the recipient still can't find your secret key. 

This makes it possible to sign contracts 
over a computer network, if ihe sender tries 
to renege on the 'deal, the recipienl need 
only produce a copy of the digital signature 
to back up his claim in court. 

When the first public-key ciphers were 
announced, they dropped like bombs into 
the middle of -a running battle. Six years 
ago the National Bureau of Standards de- 
cided to help out the banks, insurance 
companies, and others that were desper- 
ate for a way to keep their proprietary 
information secret. The NBS invited com- 
puter experts to develop a "data encryp- 
tion standard IDES I algorithm" for comput- 
ers. (An algorithm is the set of instructions 
by which you use the key to turn plain text 
into code and then decode it again.) And 
they invited ihe spooks from the NSA to 
evaluate the ideas. 

The NSA, of course, couldn't be ex- 
pected to have much interesi in codes that 
it could not break, and a good many critics 
complained that letting the NSA work on 
the DES was like putting the fox on sentry 
duty around the hen house 

Their uneasiness grew when the NSA 
persuaded IBM, which developed the win- 
ning algorithm, fo withhold the working pa- 
pers used to develop it. The NSA insisted 
that this was only a security precaution in 
the best interests of all users, but it looked, 
to many as if the government was simply 
trying to lock up the algorithm's mathemat- 
ical roots. 

When computer scientists tried to pub- 
lish papers suggesting that the new DES 
was breakable, the NSA tried to classify 
their work. One of the agency's employees, 
a man who once proposed to keep tabs on 
the 20 million Americans with criminal rec- 
ords by wiring them with transponders, 
even attacked the crifics' patriotism in an 
engineering journal. The NSA finally 
agreed to meet with dissenters, then 
promptly destroyed all tapes of the con- 
frontation. Inventors working on crypto- 
graphic devices found their patent applica- 
tions classified and were ihreatened wilh 
prosecution for even discussing the 

The NSA claimed it would take 91 years 
of computer work to break the DES key. 
According to Stanford's Hellman, however, 
"DES could be broken by an enemy willing 
to spend twenty million dollars on a com- 
puter that could test all the possible keys in 
less than a day." The DES key is a string of 
0's and 1's, known as bits, It is 56 bits long. 
All you'd have to do to make it unbreakable 
would be to switch to a key with 128 or more 
bits, Since it wouldn't make the DES device 
much more expensive, why was the gov- 
ernment being so stubborn? 

"It occurred to us," Hellman says, "that 
the NSA wanted an algorithm that it could 


out in California. While some of us would 
think the first response should be to stop 
the rioting, the first response is usually to 
count the rioters and accumulate informa- 
tion about the causes of the riots. Investiga- 
tion takes the place of action — and indeed 
often takes the place of thought. If you get 
buried with information, you will arrive at no 
conclusion because you haven't even time 
to read all the documents. 
Omni: Can you offer another example? 
Parkinson: A friend of mine was the late Mr. 
Vernon Bartlett. who was almost the last 
independent member of Parliament, When 
■ tie first came into Parliament, he believed 
that he must read all the information about 
every measure under consideration, make 
up his own mind, and vote according to his 
conscience. Then he found that his.desk 
was piled daily with inches, nay ieet, of 
documentation that he couldn't conceiv- 
ably read, if he did, he would have, no time to 
sleep- or do anything else, So he decided 
that as he hadn't digested most of this 
material, he couldn'l vote at all. Then he 
found a new embarrassment— that every- 
one else, when the division bells sounded, 
went confidently into the Chambers, looked 
toward their whips on their own side, voted 
on a measure, perhaps not even knowing 
what measure, and- then rushed back to 

finish their drinks at the bar. On these occa- 
sions Bartlett found himself alone in the 
smoking room. He found this so embar- 
rassing that he usedtc hide in the lavatory 
until the vote was completed and he- could 
emerge again. 

Omni: How accu'ately do ;ne social sci- 
ences pinpoint our behavior — in rioting, for 

Parkinson: The social sciences are almost 
wholly bogus. We could simply scrub them 
out of the syllabus of any university with 
groat advantage to everyone concerned, 
partly because of the undesirable people 
they bring onto the campus, There is no 
field in which money is beirg squandered 
more recklessly. Mind you, the students are 
finding this out tor themselves; they are 
gradually deserting the social sciences 
because they realize they are drivel, even if 
the teachers don't. 

Education is a subject you can scrub 
straightaway. There is nothing in education 
that need detain anyone for more than a 
very brief period. 

There are people who teach, and they 
are called teachers. Thee are those who 
organize teaching, who can't teach, and 
they are called educators. " nen there are 
people who produce books about teach- 
ing; they are educationalists. Finally, there 
are lecturers in the subject, and these are 
educationalizers. I think all but the original 
teachers could be abolished at once, with- 
out any loss at all to the school and with 

"He knows the origin of the 

universe, but he can't remember where he put his umbrella." 

considerable savings of time and money. 
Omni: Let us turn to some contemporary 
issues. What are your views on the intro- 
duction of microelectronics and its social 

Parkinson: My view is that in the most im- 
mediate area of application — communica- 
tions— the technical means of disseminat- 
ing information matter less than the art of 
lucidly explaining it, which is a verbal tech- 
nique. I think that the contenf of a program 
is more important than the technology 
Consider the spread of television, now the 
main means of communication. People 
now take their view of lite not from teachers 
but frdm television, I think the habit of read- 
ing among the young is not very wide- 
spread and is probably decreasing. 
Omni: What of the impact of micro- 
electronics in education? Instead of having 
a teacher who may be very good, or not so 
good, or mediocre — one leacher and thirty 
pupils— we can now have-individual termi- 
nals, individual interactive systems, so that 
pupils can learn at their own rate. 
Parkinson: Well, that is valuable in itself, in 
that pupils can possibly have a good 
teacher rather than have a bad one. Our 
system has more or less ensured that a bad 
teacher is the normal daily experience of 
most pupils. 

Omni: Are you talking only aboul England? 
Parkinson: I am talking about England as 
contrasted with Scotland. The latter, much 
to its profit, decided ore; ago that teachers 
had better be really skilled — above all, that 
ordinary primary teachers at the village 
level must be graduates. England has * 
never recovered from the original mistake 
of turning the dame schoolteachers into 
the present primary-school teachers, who 
seem largely to be old women of either sex. 
Omni: What about the United States? 
Parkinson: The American system is appall- 
ing because it has followed the English 
example. New Zealand, by contrast, has 
followed Ihe Scoilisn examnle. wi;h sensa- 
tional results in the level of literacy. In the 
smallest town in New Zealand you will find 
probably three excellent bookshops, 
whereas in the American equivalent there 
is usually no bookstore at all — just a few 
blood-and-thunde'rand sex paperbacks in 
a drugstore. The final judgment on their 
system of education is that this is all it pro- 
duces at the end. 

Omni: Are you speaking from direct expe- 

Parkinson; Yes. indeed. I put one of my 
children into first grade in an American 
school, where he learned nothing. Indeed. 
the main effort was to prevent him from 
learning anything, because if he did so, he 
would learn by the wrong method. That is 
educationalism. He went on from there to a 
different state, where he couldn't go into 
first grade because he was too young, So 
he attended kindergarten there, and it 
didn't make any difference. Then, as a visit- 
ing professor, I taught an undergraduate 
class a! a state university, where I met 
people who had passed through kinder- 

Some Americans 
go through life 
without discovering 


The gentle gin. 

garten, grade school, junior high, high 
school, junior college — heaven knows 
what eise — and al the end they were 
plainly illiterate. And when I say illiterate, I 
am not talking' in a snobbishly classical 
way; These were people who couldn't spell 
and who should never have been admitted 
to a university at all. 

Omni: Turning from education to econom- 
ics, it often seems that economists, like 
epidemiologists, are better at explaining 
what has happened after an event than at 
making worthwhile predictions. Do you 
agree with this? 

Parkinson: I don't believe economics is a 
science at all. There is a sense in which my 
own field of organization and method could 
be described as a high technology. But the 
economists' powers of prediction have so 
far been unimpressive, and their powers of 
analysis tittle better. 

Omni: The most striking recent economic 
development was the stiff hike in the price- 
of crude oil. Why were we taken unawares 
by that turn of events? 
Parkinson: I would add to that a further 
question— about Presidenf Carter, who, 
having become aware of the energy crisis, 
produced his energy program two years 
ago. Why did he fail to consult the people 
who knew about oil? I was attending a con- 
ference at that time in America, and the 
speakers included people like the chair- 
man of Standard Oil of California, and they 
assured me that the President had never 
consulted with them. 

This sorf ofmistake was repeated in Brit- 
ain by the last socialist government. Politi- 
cians tend to be guided by political con- 
siderations and their own ideology about 
these things, and they fail to consult ex- 
perts who actually know about a particular 
subject. Wehave a potentially useful institu- 
tion, for example, in the House of Lords, 
and recently there has been some silly talk 
about electing people to it. The whole point 
of the Lords is that nobody has been 
elected, Its pofential value is in collecting 
together in one house as much expert opin- 
ion and professional distinction as we pos- 
sibly can gather. 

What we need to do now, as a mailer of 
urgency, is to reform the House of Lords by 
strengthening it with, shall we say, the three 
greatest physicians, the two greatest sur- 
geons, the four greatest engineers, the five 
most distinguished architects, chartered 
accountants, and so on, until we have col- 
lected a body of people who could always 
form an expert committee at any time. 
Omni: There is, of course, no counterpart 
to the House of Lords in the United States. 
Parkinson: Unfortunately, the Americans 
made the mistake of creating another 
elected house. What is the point? We have 
an elected legislature, and anything that 
this can achieve, it has already achieved. I 
would rather have a legislature in which 
the oil magnates, for example, were pres- 
ent. Even if their speeches weren't very 
eloquent, at least they could not say after- 
wards that they hadn't been consulted. 

Omni: How do you see that policy working 
in such areas of research as genetic ma- 
nipulation, which, rightly or wrongly, cause 
much public anxiety? 
Parkinson: On the subject of genetic ma- 
nipulation and public opinion, I believe the 
notion of democracy that has been current 
over the last s_eventy-five years has no real 
relevance to the world in. which we live. We 
are still telling each other that public opin- 
ion should decide all the major issues of 
the day, when on many issues the public 
has no opinion at all and doesn't pretend 
to have one. 

Omni: But the public increasingly feels 
that it ought to be consulted. 
Parkinson: I know, but it reminds me of 
those awful scenes when, as we are about 
to devalue the pound or make some other 
highly technical maneuver, television sta- 
tions will send out interviewers who waylay 
bystanders and ask them, "What do you 
think about devaluing the pound?" And the 
unfortunate "victim" stutters something in- 
coherent. The public seldom has any opin- 
ion at all except what it derives from televi- 
sion, radio, or newspapers. 
Omni: What of public influence on issues 
such as energy policymaking — for exam- 
ple, decisions about where the next 
nuclear-power station should be built? 
Parkinson: Well, we are all agreed about 
that: If there must be a nuclear-power sta- 
tion, it mustn't be anywhere near us. A new 
airport for London is highly necessary, but it 
must be somewhere else. This sort of pub- 
lic opinion is not really of any value. 
Whether we should be developing nuclear 
energy is a question relatively few people 
are in a position to understand. I am cer- 
tainly not competent on such matters. I 
wouldn't venture any opinion at all, 
Omni: Are you saying that you would be 
happy to leave all such issues to the ex- 
perts, to -luc.oar engineers in this case? 
Parkinson: Yes, as long as you have 
brought them into the legislature to act as 
an integral part of it. You can't just select 
some outside experts and take their views 
before a subcommittee in order to produce 
the policies of the administration. I don't 
believe in this approach, because the gov- 
ernment has probably excluded anyone 
who seemed likely to be awkward. I want to 
See awkward people in the legislature of 
the future, getting up without being invited 
at all and saying what they think about 
technical problems. 

Omni: How concerned are you about the 
nuclear arsenals of the world? And how do 
you see the future oi the global economy? I 
believe you anticipate some sort of cata- 
clysmic political event in the short term in 
Britain. But are you optimistic or pessimis- 
tic on the international front? 
Parkinson: I am not being pessimistic in 
saying that the present system in Britain is 
bound to end in a cataclysmic disaster: It is 
bound to happen, and we can't make any 
progress until it has. We need to sweep the 
cards off the tabie and siar again. I would 
be more pessimistic if I could imagine our 

system of parliamentary government going 
on another fifty years: That is equivalent to 
blowing out your brains, isn't it? 

On the global issue of nuclear weaponry, 
I am not impressed with the danger at the 
moment of the USSR and the United States 
exchanging bombs over Afghanistan. They 
are plainly going to do nothing of the kind. 
The Russians, although obtuse in some 
ways, are not quite as obtuse as that. Nor 
are the Chinese. They already have a nu- 
clear potential, and their rate of accelera- 
tion is far greater than that of the Russians, 
and relatively far greater than that of the 
West. Tha upturn curve shown by Chinese 
technology is sensational when you think of 
the level from which they started. 

My concern is with nuclear weapons in 
the hands of people of quite terrifying in- 
stability. I would- specify Iran at the present 
time, where we see a country run by a 
person or people whom we might de- 
scribe—not unkindly — as more or less im- 
becilic, and visualize a future when people 
as stupid as that may acquire these 
weapons. 1 don't think we are going to see 
this happening for another ten years, and I 
would like to think that by then the people 
who have acquired the technology will also 
have acquired the wisdom, but there "is 
nothing in history to suggest this. 

Our biggest basic difficulty in the West is 
tha! while our technology and science have 
advanced dramatically, our politics is still 
the politics of the horse and buggy. Some of 

the loys the pclil cians have been given to 
play with are extremely dangerous, while 
the. politicians are themselves relatively un- 
educated and unintelligent people. When 
you imagine giving Ayatollah Khomeini nu- 
clear weapons to play with, you have a 
desperately unnerving picture. 
Omni: Aren't you being somewhat pes- 
simistic about most of the more significant 
issues of the day? 

Parkinson: Perhaps, but there is one tiny 
contribution that I have tried to make to 
current affairs in my new book on geriatrics. 
One development I would like to see in the 
tulure is an extension of human life. By this I 
mean life extension for a certain number of 
people, of their own choice, not for every- 
one. In a scientific age it takes longer and 
longer for anyone to master all thai is known 
about a given subject and then begin to 
contribute. I remember a professor who 
answered a question not with "I don't know." 
but with "That is not known." He had 
reached the point where he could confi- 
dently say that. I would say that today you 
would probably need to be fifty to achieve 
such a position in some subjects. 

I believe it is possible to extend the 
period of vigor so that someone could still 
be active at ninety, as some people are 
already. George Bernard Shaw was still writ- 
ing plays' at ninety-two. He finally died of 
boredom, having broker', his hip and oeing 
confined to bed. If a scientist is not in a 
position to contribute anything of signifi- 

cance until the age of fifty, then to retire him 
at sixty-five and boot him out of the labora- 
tory in order to bring in somebody else is 
dreadfully wasteful. 

I suggest that people who are in a posi- 
tion to contribute should decide for them- 
selves— and be encouraged by others -to 
live actively until they are, say, ninety or a 
hundred. The decision to do this must be 
their own because it is philosophical. 
Omni: But if there were a technique or pill 
to make that possible, you would presum- 
ably also get a lot of people wanting to go 
on spending more time at the racetrack. 
Parkinson: They wouldn't, though, be- 
cause the philosophic side is important. 
We now decide that someone must retire at 
sixty-five or seventy, and he says, "At last I 
can enjoy myself." The standard answer, 
among Americans particularly, is to take a 
year's voyage around the world. Then you 
try to get your golf handicap down. Then 
maybe two more years doing crossword 
puzzles. A man can't go on doing that: he 
dies of boredom. 

My father once discovered that the sys- 
tem of pensions for schoolteachers was 
splendid from the government's point of 
view, because schoolteachers lived an av- 
erage of only eighteen months after retire- 
ment. People die of boredom more than of 
anything else. Correction: They die of 
boredom and because other people ex- 
pect them to die. A longer active life would 
put a stop to this. DO 



crack. That would prevent anyone else in 
the country from using a ioolproof code." 
With that controversy to prepare their 
way, the public-key codes have received a 
warm welcome from just about everyone 
but the government. Some New York banks 
have already decided to reject the MSA- 
backed 56-bit encryption standard. An of- 
ficer at Banker's Trust Company said his 
company refused to go along with the fed- 
eral plan because it "did not meet all the 
bank's requirements." Bell Telephone has 
also rejected DES on security grounds. 

These corporations may be better 
served by private companies now hoping 
to market coding devices based on the 
systems MIT and Stanford inventors are try- 
ing to patent. "Since we would share some 
of the royalties," Hellman says, "some gov- 
ernment people suggest our opposition to 
DES is motivated by self-interest. Sure, we 
would benefit if public-key systems go into 
widespread use. But the facts are that our 
method provides real protection and DES 
can be broken." 

Ftivest is already consulting for com- 
panies that hope to market foolprool 
systems. "What we want," he says, "is to 
develop an add-on encoding device for 
computer terminals that any user could af- 
ford. We're building a prototype now and 

working to see that it ends up in the mar- 
ketplace." Bell Northern Labs, a subsidiary 
of the Canadian phone company, has hired 
Diffie to help make electronic eavesdrop- 
ping more difficult. At the company's Palo 
Alto research facility, he is leading a cryp- 
tographic research group thai wants to 
show callers how ihey can mask their 

Some computer experts, such as 
George Feeney, who invented the concept 
of EDP time sharing and who heads Dun 
and Bradstreefs advanced-technology 
group, voice concern about the practicality 
of these promised systems. "The unbreak- 
able code is a brilliant piece of conceptual 
work," Feeney says. "These inventors have 
done an incredible job. But some of us 
wonder whether the process may turn out 
to be beyond the current state of the com- 
puter art. We still don't know how long it's 
going to lake to get this dream going and 
whether the cost will be realistic." 

The NSA, though, has already begun to 
whine about the prospect of companies 
and private individuals communicating 
over foolproof lines. The agency's director, 
Vice Admiral Bobbie Ray Inman, is so anx- 
ious thai he recenlly broke official policy to 
go on record about this sensitive matter. 

"There is a very real and critical danger 
that unrestrained public discussion of 
cryptologic matters will seriously damage 
the ability of this government to conduct 
signals intelligence and protect- national 

security information from hostile exploita- 
tion," he complained. "The very real con- 
cerns we at NSA have about the impact of 
nongovernmental cryptologic activity can- 
not and should not be ignored. Ultimately 
these concerns are of vital interest to every 
citizen of the United States, since they bear 
vitally on our national defense and the suc- 
cessful conduct of our foreign policy." 

Another NSA employee; Joseph A. 
Meyer, has warned his colleagues in the 
Institute of Electrical and Electronic En- 
gineers that their work on public-key cryp- 
tography and data encryption might violate 
the International Traffic in Arms regulation. 
This law, which the government uses to 
control the export of weaponry and com- 
puter equipment, can even be invoked to 
thwart basic code research. 

As a result, people like University of Wis- 
consin computer-science professor 
George DaVida, who recently tried to pat- 
ent a new cryptographic device, have run 
into trouble. Although his work was spon- 
sored by the federally funded National 
Science Foundation, the Commerce De- 
partment told DaVida that he could be ar- 
rested for writing about, or discussing, the 
principles of his invention. A similar se- 
crecy order was issued to a Seattle team 
that had invested $33,000 to develop a 
coding device for CB and marine radios. 

Protests from the scientific community 
persuaded the government to lift its secre- 
cy orders in both these cases. At least for 
now, academics and inventors can con- 
tinue to write and confer on cryptographic- 
schemes. But the threat of renewed gov- 
ernment harassment has complicated fur- 
ther research. Universities have agreed to 
defend professors against federal prose- 
cution related to code research, but they 
can't protect students. As a result, some 
students have decided not to contribute 
papers to scientific conferences. In at least 
one instance Hellman had to shield two of 
his graduate students at Stanford by read- 
ing their reports for them at a meeting of the 
Institute of Electrical and Electronic En- 

It's too soon to know whether the gov- 
ernment will move to block use of the public 
key, but Hellman and his colleagues tear 
that young cryptographers may be scared 
away by Inman's tough admonitions. This 
could hold up the practical refinements 
necessary to make the unbreakable code 
widely available. A real chance to stop 
crime in the electronic society might be 
postponed indefinitely. With computerized 
theft increasing every year and computers 
controlling more of society's daily ac- 
tivities, this doesn't seem wise, Buf this 
issue appears secondary to Washington 
cryptographers, who sound as if they 
would like to reserve the public key for their 
own use. 

"I'm not suggesting government agents 
want to listen in at will," Diffie says, "but I'm 
sure they don't want to be shut out. For 
them the perfect code is the one only they 
can break." DO 


counter with a major predator. 

There are nine tyrannosaurs on the is- 
land, including three born in the past eigh- 
teen months. (That gives us an optimum 
predator-to-prey ratio. If the tyrannosaurs 
keep reproducing and don't start ealing 
each other, we'll .have to begin thinning 
them out. One of the problems with a 
closed ecology — natural checks and bal- 
ances don't fully apply.) Sooner or later I 
was bound to encounter one, but I had 
hoped it would be later. 

I was hunting frogs at the edge of Cope 
Lake. A ticklish business: calls for agility, 
cunning, quick reflexes. I remember the 
technique from my girlhood — the cupped 
hand, the lightning pounce— but somehow 
it's become a lot harder in the last twenty 
years. Superior frogs these days, I sup- 
pose. There I was kneeling in the mud. 
swooping, missing, swooping, missing; 
some vast sauropod snoozing in the lake, 
probably our diplodocus; a corythosaur 
browsing in a stand of ginkgo trees, quite 
delicately nipping off the foul-smelling yel- 
low fruits. Swoop. Miss. Swoop. Miss. Such 
intense concentration on my task that old 
T. rex could have tiptoed right up behind 
me. and I'd never have noticed. But then I 
felt a subtle something, a change, in the air, 
maybe, a barely perceptible shift in dy- 
namics. I glanced up and saw the 
corythosaur rearing on its hind legs, look- 
ing around uneasily, pulling deep sniffs into 
that fantastically eaborale bony crest that 
houses its early-warning system. Carnivore 
alert! The corythosaur obviously smelled 
something wicked this way coming, for it 
swung around between two big ginkgos 
and started to go galumphing away Too 
late. The treetops parted, giant boughs 
toppled, and out of the forest came our 
original tyrannosaur, the pigeon-toed one 
we call Belshazzar, moving in its heavy, 
clumsy waddle, ponderous legs working 
hard, tail absurdly swinging from side to 
side. I slithered into the lake and 
scrunched down as deep as I could go in 
the warm, oozing mud. The corythosaur 
had no place to slither. Unarmed, unar- 
mored, it could only make great bleating 
sounds, "terror mingled with defiance, as 
the killer bore down on it. 

I had to watch. I had never actually seen 
a kill before. 

In a graceless but wondrously effective 
way the tyrannosaur dug its hind claws into 
the ground, pivoted astonishingly, and, 
using its massive tail as a counterweight, 
moved in a ninety-degree arc to knock the 
corythosaur down with a stupendous 
sidewise swat of its huge head. I hadn't 
been expecting that. The corythosaur 
dropped and lay on its side, snorting in 
pain and feebly waving its limbs. Now 
came the coupde grace with hind legs, 
and then the rending and tearing, the jaws 
and the tiny arms at last coming into play. 

94 OMNI 

Burrowing chin-deep in the mud, I watched 
in awe and weird fascination. There are 
those among us who argue that the carni- 
vores ought to be segregated— put on their 
own island— that ft is folly to allow recon- 
structs created with such effort to be casu- 
ally butchered this way. Perhaps in the be- 
ginning that made sense, but not now, not 
when natural increase is rapidly filling the 
island with young dinos. If we are to learn 
anything about these animals, it will only be 
by reproducing as closely as possible their 
original living conditions. Besides, would it 
nol be a cruel mockery to feed our tyran- 
nosaurs on hamburger and herring? 

The killer fed for more than an hour. At the 
end came a scary moment; Belshazzar, 
blood-smeared and bloated, hauled him- 
self ponderously down to the edge of the 
lake for a drink. He stood no more than ten 
meters from me. I did my most convincing 
imitation of a rotting log, but the tyran- 
nosaur, although it did seem to study me 
with a beady eye. had no further appetite. 

^Carnivore alert! 

The corythosaur obviously 

smelled something 

wicked this way coming, for it 

swung around between 

two big ginkgos and went 

galumphing away. 
Too late. Treetops parted. 9 

For a long while after he departed I stayed 
buried in the mud, fearing he might come 
back for dessert. And eventually there was 
another crashing and bashing in the 
forest --not Belshazzar this time, though, 
but a younger one with a gimpy arm. It 
uttered a sort of whinnying sound and went 
to work on the corythosaur carcass. No 
surprise: We already knew from our obser- 
vations that tyrannosaurs had no preju- 
dices against carrion. 

Nor, I found, did I. 

When the coast was clear, I crept out and 
saw that the two tyrannosaurs had [eft hun- 
dreds of kilos ot meat. Starvation knoweth 
no pride and also few qualms. Using a 
clamshell for my blade, I started chopping 
away at the corythosaur 

Corythosaur meat has a curiously sweet 
flavor— nutmeg and cloves, dash of cin- 
namon. The first chunk would not go down. 
You are a pioneer. I told myself, retching. 
You are the first human ever to eat dinosaur 
meat. Yes, but why does it have to be raw? 
No choice about that. Be dispassionate, 
love. Conquer your gag reflex or die trying. 
I pretended I was eating oysters. This time 
the meat went down. 1 It didn't stay down. 

The alternative, I told myself grimly, is a diet 
of fern fronds and frogs, and you haven't 
been much good at catching the frogs. I 
tried again. Success! 

I'd have to call corythosaur meat an ac- 
quired taste. But the wilderness is no place 
for picky eaters. 

23 August. 1300 hours. Al midday I 
found myself in the southern hemisphere, 
along the fringes of Marsh Marsh, about a 
hundred meters below the equator. Ob- 
serving herd, behavior in sauropods: five 
brachiosaurs,-two adult and three young, 
moving in formation, the small ones in the 
center. By small I mean only some ten me- 
ters from nose to tail tip, Sauropod appe- 
tites being what they are, we'll have to thin 
that herd soon, too, especially if we want to 
introduce a female diplodocus into the col- 
ony. Two species of sauropods breeding 
and eating like that could devastate the 
island in three years. Nobody ever ex- 
pected dinosaurs to reproduce like 
rabbits— another dividend of their being 
warm-blooded, I suppose. We might have 
guessed it, though, from the vast quantity 
of fossils. If that many bones survived the 
catastrophes of a hundred-odd million 
years, how enormous the living Mesozoic 
population must have been! An awesome 
race in more ways than their mere physical 

I had a chance to do a little herd thinning 
myself just now. Mysterious stirring in the 
spongy soil right at my feel, and I looked 
down to see triceratops eggs hatching. 
Seven brave little critters, already horny 
and beaky, scrabbling out of a nest, staring 
around defiantly No bigger than kittens, 
but active and sturdy from the moment they 
were born, 

The corythosaur meat has probably 
spoiled by now, A more pragmatic soul very 
likely would have augmented her diet with 
one or two little ceratopsians. I couldn't 
bring myself to do it. 

They scuttled off in seven different direc- 
tions. I thought briefly of catching one and 
making a pet out of it. Silly idea. 

25 August. 0700 hours. Start of the fifth 
day I've done three complete circumambu- 
lations of Dino Island. Slinking around on 
foot is fifty times as risky as cruising around 
in a module, and fifty thousand times as 
rewarding. I make camp in a different place 
every night. I don't mind the humidity any 
longer And despite my skimpy diet I feel 
pretty healthy. Raw dinosaur, I know now, is 
a lot tastier than raw frog, I've become an 
expert scavenger— the sound of a tyran- 
nosaur in the forest now stimulates my 
salivary glands instead of my adrenals, 
Going naked is fun, too. And I appreciate 
my body much more, since the bulges that 
civilization put there have begun to melt 

Nevertheless, I keep trying to figure out 
some way of signaling Habitat Vronsky for 
help. Changing the position of the reflect- 
ing mirrors, maybe, so I can beam an SOS? 

Sounds nice, but I don'i even know where 
the island's controls are locaied, let alone 
how to run them. Let's hope my luck holds 
out another three and a half weeks. 

27 August. 1700 hours. The dinosaurs 
know that I'm here and that I'm some ex- 
traordinary kind of animal. Does that sound 
weird? How can great dumb beasts know 
anything? They have such tiny brains. And 
my own brain must be softening on this 
protein-and-cellulose diet. Even so, I'm 
starting to have peculiar feelings about 
these animals. I see them watching me. An 
odd, knowing look in their eyes, not stupid 
at all. They stare, and I imagine them nod- 
ding, smiling, exchanging glances with 
each other, discussing me. I'm supposed 
to be observing them, but I think they're 
observing me, too, somehow. 

No, that's just crazy. I'm tempted to erase 
the entry. But I suppose I'll leave it as a 
record of my changing psychological 
state, it nothing else. 

28 August. 1200 hours. More fantasies 
about the dinosaurs. I've decided thai the 
big brachiosaur — Bertha— plays a key 
role here. She doesn't move around much, 
but there are always lesser dinosaurs in 
orbit around her. Much eye contact. Eye 
contact between dinosaurs? Let it stand. 
That's my perception of whatthey're'doing. 
I get a definile sense that there's communi- 
cation going on here, modulating over 
some wave that I'm not capable of detect- 
ing. And Bertha seems to be a central 
nexus, a grand totem of some sort, a — a 
switchboard? What am I talking about? 
What's happening to me? 

30 August. 0945 hours. What a damned 
fool I am! Serves me right for being a filthy 
voyeur. Climbed a tree to watch iguano- 
dons mating at the foot of Bakker Falls. At 
the climactic moment the branch broke. I 
dropped twenty meters. Grabbed a lower 
limb or I'd be dead now. As it is, pretty badly 
smashed around. I don't think anything's 
broken, but my left leg won't support me 
and my back's in bad shape. Internal in- 
juries, too? Not sure. I've crawled into a little 
rock sheller near the falls. Exhausted and 
maybe feverish. Shock, most likely. I sup- 
pose I'll starve now It would have been an 
honor io be eaten by a tyrannosaur, but to 
die from falling out of a tree is just plain 

The mating of iguanodons is a spectacu- 
lar sight, by fhe way. But I hurt loo much to 
describe it now. 

31 August, 1700 hours. Stiff, sore, hun^ 
gry, hideously thirsty. Leg slill useless, and 
when I try to crawl even a few meters, I feel 
as if I'm going to crack in half at the waisl. 

High fever. 
How long does it take to starve to death? 

1 September. 0700 hours. Three broken 
eggs lying near me when I awoke. Embryos 
still alive— probably stegosaur— but not for 

long. First food in lorly-eight hours. Did the 

eggs fall out of a nest somewhere over- 
head? Do stegosaurs make Iheir nests in 
Irees, dummy? 

Fever diminishing. Body aches all over. 
Crawled to (he stream and managed to 
scoop up a little wafer. 

1330 hours. Dozed off. Awakened to find 
haunch of fresh meat within crawling dis- 
tance. Struthiomimus drumstick", 1 think, 
Nasty sour taste, but it's edible. Nibbled a 
little, slept again, ate some more. Pair of 
sfegosaurs grazing not far away, tiny eyes 
fastened on me. Smaller dinosaurs holding 
a kind of conference by some big cycads. 
And Bertha Brachiosaur is munching away 
in Ostrom Meadow, benignly supervising 
the whole scene. 

This is absolutely crazy. 

1 think the dinosaurs are taking care of 
me. But why would they do that? 

2 September. 0900 hours . No doubi of it 

at all. They bring me eggs, meat, even 
cycad cones and tree-fern fronds. At first 

they delivered things only when I slept, but 
now they come hcpoing rich 1 , up to me and 
dump things at my feet. The struth lorn im ids 
are the bearers— fhey're the smallest, most 
agile, quickest hands. They bring their of- 
ferings, -stare me right in the eye, pause as 
if waiting for a tip. Olher dinosaurs watch- 
ing from the distance. This is a coordinated 
effort. I am the center of all activity on the 
island, it seems, I imagine that even the 
tyrannosaurs are saving choice cuts for 
me. Hallucination? Fantasy? Delirium of 
fever? I feel lucid. The fever is abaling. I'm 
still too stiff and weak to move very far, but I 
think I'm recovering from the effects of my 
fall, With a little help from my friends 

1000 hours. Played back the last entry. 
-Thinking it over, I don't think I've gone in- 
sane. If I'm sane enough to be worried 
about my sanity, how crazy can I be? Or am 
I jusl fooling myself? There's a terrible con- 
flict between what I think I perceive going 
on here and what I know I ought to be 

1500 hours. A long, strange dream this 
afternoon. I saw all the dinosaurs standing 
in the meadow, and they were connected to 
one another by gleaming threads, like the 
telephone lines of olden times, and all the 
threads centered on Bertha. As if she's the 
switchboard, yes. And lelepathic mes- 
sages were Iraveling through her io the 
others. An extrasensory hookup, powerful 
pulses moving along ihe nes I dreamed 
that a small dinosaur came to me and of- 
fered me a line and. in pantomime, showed 
me how to hook if up, and a great flood of 
delight went through me as I made the 
connection. And when I plugged it in, I 
could feel the deep and heavy thoughts of 
Ihe dinosaurs, the slow, rapturous philo- 
sophical interchanges. 

When I woke, the dream seemed bizarre- 
ly vivid, strangely real, the dream ideas 

"When I listen 
to a cassette 
I take it apart!' 

'Stevie ! s reputation as a perfection- 
ist is well known . Before he takes a 
cassette home, it must deliver big 
studio sound. The kind of sound 
he can't take apart. 

The cassette Stevie likes most is 
the high bias TDKSA. TDK SAhasa 
startling musical memory. You'll 
hear ihe mil timbre of the human 
voice. The vibrant dynamic energy 
of strings. The blast and bluster of 
rock. No nuance is beyond its 
range. No instruments forgotten. 

The world's major deck manu- 
facturers, themselves perfection* - 
ists, use the SA to set the sound 
standard in their machines. TDK 
makes sure it will keep selling 
standards. The shell alone goes 
Ihrough 1,117 checkpoints. With a 
lifetime* warranty tor every part. 
That makes it easy to like. And hard 
to take apart. 

lingering as they somelimes do. I saw the 
animals about me in a new way. As if this is 
not just a zoological research station but a 
community, a settlement, the sole outpost 
ot an alien civilization — an alien civilization 
native to Earth. 

Come ofi it. These animals have minute 
brains. They spend their days chomping on 
greenery, except for the ones that chomp 
on other dinosaurs. Compared with di- 
nosaurs, cows and sheep are downright 

I can hobble a little now 

3 September. 0600 hours. The same 
dream again last night, the universal tele- 
pathic linkage. Sense ot warmth and love 
flowing from dinosaurs to me. 

And once more I found fresh tyrannosaur 
eggs for breakfast. 

5 September. 1100 hours. I'm making a 
tast recovery. Up and about, still creaky, but 
not much pain left. They still feed me. 
Though the struthiomimids remain the 
bearers of food, the bigger dinosaurs now 
come close, too. A stegosaur nuzzled up to 
me like some Goliath-sized pony, and I pet- 
ted its rough, scaly flank. The diplodocus 
stretched out flat and seemed to beg me to 
stroke its immense neck. 

If this is madness, so be it. There's a 
community here, loving and temperate. 
Even the predatory carnivores are part of it: 
Eaters and eaten are aspects of the whole, 
yin and yang. Riding around in our sealed 
modules, we could never have suspected 
any of this. 

They are gradually drawing me into their 
communion. I feel the pulses that pass be- 
tween them. My entire soul throbs with that 
strange new sensation. My skin tingles. 

They bring me food ot their own bodies, 
their flesh and their unborn young, and they 
watch over me and silently urge me back to 
health. Why? For sweet chanty's sake? I 
don't think so. I think they want something 
from me. More than that. I think they need 
something from me. 

What could they need from me? 

6 September. 0600 hours. All this night I 
have moved slowly through the forest in 
what I can only term an ecstatic state. Vast 
shapes, humped, monstrous forms barely 
visible by dim glimmer, came and went 
about me. Hour after hour I walked un- 
harmed, feeling the communion intensify. I 
wandered, barely aware of where I was, 
until at last, exhausted, I have come to rest 
here on this mossy carpet, and in the first 
light of dawn I see the' giant form of the 
great brachiosaur standing like a mountain 
on the far side of Owen River. 

I am drawn to her. I could worship her 
Through her vast body surge powerful cur- 
rents. She is the amplifier. By her are we all 
connected. The holy mother of us all. From 
the enormous mass of her body emanate 
potent healing impulses. 

I'll rest a little while. Then I'll cross the 
river to her. 

96 OMNI 

0900 hours. We stand face to face. Her 
head is fifteen meters above mine. Her 
small eyes are unreadable. I trust her and I 
love -her. 

Lesser brachiosaurs have gathered be- 
hind her on the riverbank. Farther away are 
dinosaurs of half a dozen other species, 
immobile, silent. 

I am humble in their presence. They are 
representatives of a dynamic, superior 
race, which but for a cruel cosmic accident 
would rule the earth to this day. and I am 
coming to revere them, to bear witness to 
their greatness. 

Consider: They endured for a hundred 
forty million years in ever-renewing vigor. 
They met all evolutionary challenges, ex- 
cept the one of sudden and catastrophic 
climatic change, against which nothing 
could have protected them. They multi- 
plied and proliferated and adapted, 
dominating land and sea and air, covering 
the globe. Our own trifling, contemptible 
ancestors were nothing next to them. Who 

Qi am drawn to her. I 
could worship her. Through 

her vast body surge 
powerful currents. She is 

the amplifier. By her 

are we all connected. The 

holy-mother. From her 

emanate healing impulses.? 

knows what these dinosaurs might have 
achieved if that crashing asteroid had not 
blotted out their light? What a vast irony: 
millions of years of supremacy ended in a 
single generation by a chilling cloud of 
dust. But until then — the wonder, the gran- 
deur . . . 

Only beasts, you say? How can you be 
sure? We know just a shred of what the 
Mesozoic was really like, just a slice, liter- 
ally the bare bones. The passage of a 
hundred million years can obliterate all 
traces of civilization. Suppose they had 
language, poetry, mythology, philosophy? 
Love, dreams, aspirations? No, you say, 
they were beasts, ponderous and stupid, 
that lived mindless, bestial lives. And I reply 
that we puny hairy ones have no right to 
impose our own values on them. The only 
kind of civilization we can understand is the 
one we have built. We imagine that our own 
trivial accomplishments are the determin- 
ing case, that computers and spaceships 
and broiled sausages are such miracles 
that they place us at evolution's pinnacle. 
But now I know otherwise. Humans have 
done marvelous, even incredible, things, 
yes. But we would never have existed at all, 

had this greatest of races been allowed to 
live to fulfill its destiny. 

I feel the intense love radiating from the 
titan that looms above me. I feel the contact 
between our souls steadily strengthening 
and deepening. 

The last barriers dissolve. 

And I understand at last. 

I am the chosen one. I am the vehicle. I 
am the bringer of rebirth, the beloved one, 
the necessary one. Our Lady of the Sau- 
ropods am I, the holy one, the prophetess, 
the priestess. 

Is this madness? Then it is madness, and 
I embrace it. 

Why have we small hairy creatures 
existed at all? I know now. It is so that 
through our technology we could make 
possible the return of the great ones. They 
perished unfairly. Through us, they are res- 
urrected aboard this tiny globe in space. 

I tremble in the force of the need that 
pours from them. 

I wilt not fail you, I tell the great sauro- 
pods before me, and the sauropods send 
my thoughts reverberating to all the others. 

20 September. 0600 hours. The thirtieth 
day. The shuttle comes from Habitat Vron- 
sky today to pick me up and deliver the next 

I wait at the transit lock. Hundreds of 
dinosaurs wait with me, each close beside 
the next, both the lions and the lambs, 
gathered quietly, their attention focused en- 
tirely on me. 

Now the shuttle arrives, right on time, 
gliding in for a perfect docking. The air- 
locks open. A figure appears. Sarber him- 
self! Coming to make sure I didn't survive 
the meltdown, or else to finish me off. 

He stands blinking in the entry passage, 
gaping at the throngs of placid dinosaurs 
arrayed in a huge semicircle around the 
naked woman who stands beside the 
wreckage of the mobile module. For a mo- 
ment he is unable to speak. 

"Anne?" he says finally. "What in Gods 

"You'll never understand," I tell him. I give 
the signal. Belshazzar rumbles forward. 
Sarber screams and whirls and sprints for 
the airlock, but a stegosaur blocks the way. 
"No!" Sarber cries as the tyrannosaur's 
mighty head swoops down. It is all over in a 
Revenge! How sweet! 
And this is only the beginning. Habitat 
Vronsky lies just one hundred twenty 
kilometers away. Elsewhere in the La- 
grange belt are hundreds of other habitats 
ripe for conquest. The earth itself is within 
easy reach. I have no idea yet how it will be 
accomplished, but I know it will be done 
and done successfully, and I will be the 
instrument by which it is done. 

I stretch forth my arms to the mighty crea- 
tures that surround me. I feel their strength. 
Iheir power, their harmony. I am one with 
them, and they with me. The Great Race 
has returned, and I am its priestess. Let the 
small hairy ones tremble! OO 


aloud in jocular tones, trying to neutralize 
the spasms of alarm he had feit on realizing 
that his very existence was now being laid 
on the line. He took a cushion from a chair 
and set it in the middle of the door, then 
hesitated, frowning. A cushion was just as 
much an artifact as a microwave oven, just 
as capable of being booby-trapped. He 
skimmed it back onto the chair and squat- 
ted on the carpet, his face turned toward 
the screen as he waited for the final an- 
nouncement. In addition to his fear he 
could feel powerful undercurrents of ex- 
citement, and it came to him that the provi- 
sions of the 2061 act had been successfully 
implemented in the present system. He 
was about to be sentenced to death. Yet he 
had absolutely no sense of imminent 

The inevitable reaction lo the steady in- 
crease in violent crime had begun in the 
last quarter ot the twentieth century with 
one state after another reintroducing the 
death penalty. By the middle of the twenty- 
first century capital punishment had be- 
come almost universal, coast to coast, and 
the moral dilemma lacing the legislators 
had grown in proportion. How could one 
condemn killing on the one hand while 
going on taking human lives with the other? 
Variations in the actual method of execu- 

tion had been tried, but the principal objec- 
tions to legalized killing had remained the 
same; It was totally inhuman to tell a man 
exactly when and how he was going to die, 
then leave him to sweat out his time. And if 
the state was inhuman, could its citizens be 
expected to be otherwise 7 

It was basically a question of how to be 
cruel in a kindly way — and a workable an- 
swer had come along in 2061 . The lengthy, 
soul-destroying delays of earlier systems 
had been eliminated by direct implementa- 
tion of the majority vote of a thlrteen-man 
jury, and the dreadful certainty of death 
had been replaced by the challenge of a 
week in the apartment. Not only were the 
exact time and method of execution de- 
cently shrouded in mystery, but there was 
also a ray of hope that the grim event could 
be avoided altogether. And that made all 
:he difference. 

Renfrew found that he was tense, alert, 
stimulated, and — above all— confident 
that he was going to beat the system. There 
remained only a trace of furtive, niggling 
doubt, His idea seemed foolproof, but it 
had been rather easy to conceive. It had, in 
fact, been the first scheme to blossom in 
his mind, and he knew perfectly well thai he 
was anything but a genius— if he could 
come up with a successful plan, anybody 
could. Did this mean that nobody but the 
occasional moron ever paid the supreme 
penalty? Or was there some other incon- 
spicuous factor he had overlooked? 

There was another chiming sound, and 
the message on the screen was replaced 
by a new set of words scribed in raw crim- 

On the lower part of the display a sweep 
hand began remorselessly erasing a 
sixty-second clock. I'm going to be all 
right, he thought. All I've got lo do is stay 
put lor seven days. 

His gaze picked out two vertical cracks 
in the skirting board of the wall opposite 
him. It looked as if a small, flap-type door 
had been built into the base of the wall, He 
stared at the door, feeling oddly threatened 
as he tried to guess its purpose. It had 
nothing to do with ventilation, too awk- 
wardly positioned to be an electrical-sys- 
tem access hatch, too small to be a cup- 
board. . . . Renfrew's eyes widened as he 
noticed the slightest trace of wheel marks 
fanning out across the carpet, and under- 
standing blossomed in his mind. 

Robotic cleaners! 

The apartment was as immaculate as 
only an automated cleaning system could 
make it, which mean! that at night, when the 
occupants were asleep in bed. silent little 
machines came out of the walls and 
scavenged every speck of dirt, But he 
wasn't going to be in bed! He was going to 
be laid out on the floor while the busy robots 
came nosing and nuzzling around him, and 
any one of them could be capable of killing 
him in a dozen different ways. How fast did 
they travel? How many were there 7 Could 
he avoid them? 

Renfrew looked at the clock. Twenty sec- , 
onds until the apartment declared war. 

He half-rose, his face turning toward the 
kitchen. Was there time to run in there, 
snatch up the lightweight table, and get 
back with it? Would he be safe squatting on 
top of the table? What if. . .? 

His hands fluttered to his mouth as he 
heard the final chime that signaled the 
jury's verdict. He glanced involuntarily in 
the direction of ihe screen, then froze, his 
chin sagging with incredulity as he read the 
three words electronically emblazoned 
across the face of the tube. 

verdict: not guilty. 

The breath left his body in a noisy, qua- 
vering sob. He pushed a hank of hair away 
from his forehead, as if giving himself a 
better view of the glowing words might 
change their import. The message re- 
mained the same. He was a free man! 

Renfrew got to his feet, suddenly con- 
scious of how much he had been dreading 
the ordeal that had lain ahead. He took a 
last look at the apartment, gave a low 
chuckle of relief, then strode to the door 
with a buoyant tread, keyed up for his first 
taste of liberty in many months. 

The doorknob did not turn when he 
grasped it. 

Instead it fired a cloud of poison through 
the skin of Renfrew's palm, a poison so 
swift-acting that he had no time to realize 
he had been tricked by executioners who, 
in their determination to be humane, were 
not above telling a little white lie. DO 



nuclear power aren't good bets for cars 
before 2020, if ever. By that time we may 
have pushed piezoelectric power orders of 
magnitude higher lhan we can get irom 
crystals today. 

There's faint hope for Slirling and Ran- 
kine engines. A Stirling's piston is forced 
back and forth by rapid expansion and 
contraction of a working fluid trapped in a 
chamber Fuel is burned outside the 
chamber, its heat conducted to and from 
the fluid. Through very high heat-transfer 
rates (liquid lithium? Peltier effect?) a Stir- 
ling can be astonishingly efficient, but too 
big and expensive for its modest output. 
Stirling power just might be the best sur- 
prise of the 1990s, but the odds are long. 
and time is short. 

The Rankine layout-a steam engine 
with recirculation condensers, for exam- 
ple—yields tremendous torque, and pol- 
lutants can be almost nil. But it doesn't 
promise to triple our fuel mileage. The more 
powerful ones might run into buyer resist- 
ance unless stylists find a way to make 
huge condenses aopea r attractive. 

Bill Lear dropped his Rankine-powered 
police cruiser project because, among 
other things, "They would have looked 
ridiculous. I couldn't afford that," he told 
Omni. "Sure they'd do the job, but those 
heat exchangers would've stuck out like 
elephant ears." Lear's own choice of cars? 
His gullwing Mercedes coupe. "A basket 
case," he admitted, "but I love to look at it." 
Only when power plants of high energy 
density become cheap and nonpolluting 
can we expect to make general use of per- 
sonal hovercraft. It will probably still require 
less energy to roll on bearings than to ride 
on an air cushion, and energy efficiency 
will still be crucial enough to keep hover- 
craft in the special-use category. 

Though our cars will be far better en- 
gineered, they may become less numerous 
as we begin to polarize our attitudes about 
them. If cars grow more expensive while 
mass transit grows better and cheaper, 
many people may give up owning cars. 
This is already hapoemrg increasingly in 
urban cultures. And the better our com- 
munications, the less our need to travel, 
even for business. Wraparound home 
video may further popularize social dating 
by electronic links so that many mixed-sex 
pairs aren't, strictly speaking, linked at all. 
This could curb population growth: as con- 
versation becomes more verbal and less 
carnal, we can save energy both coming 
and going. 

Beyond the initial polarization between 
car people and non-car people, we might 
expect further schisms, be'ween those who 
use a car to reach a destination and those 
who keep one primarily to enjoy the ride By 
2020, however, our automotive foolishness 
will be largely deliberate, and wholly af- 
fordable by those not addicted. OO 

This is a comfortable sportsman's billed 
cap. Black mesh {air cooled) and adjust- 
able to any size head, with an official 
"Jack Daniel's Field Tester" patch on 
the front. Guaranteed to shade your eyes 
and start a lot of conversations, 
My S5.25 price includes postage 
and handling. 

Send check, money order, or use Ameri- 
can Express, Visa or Master Charge, 
including all numbers and signature. 


The Collector could see the bauble 

was old, but was it 

authentic or just a piece of junk? 

"Nowhere, sir, is a lovely— and might 
I say, traditional — example." The 
Seller pointed a finger at the decora- 
tive sphere, sel against a velvet 
background cloth. 

The Collector leaned on the edge 
of the counter and studied the bau- 
ble. Its workmanship might be good, 
but it was hard to tell, owing to large, 
sooty stains on its surface and, be- 
neath that, what appeared to be rust 
or some fatal corrosion that had per- 
manently marred the interior. 

"I'll let you have it cheap," said the 
Seller, spying the critical took of the 
Collector Business wasn't good; the 
shop was seldom visited anymore. 

"Is if— the Collector touched at it 
with his monocle, studying the piece 
more closely— "still enchanted?" 

"The occasional wail, sir' You know 
the phenomenon, I'm sure." 

"The true spirit, or merely an 

The Seller sighed. He couldn't mis- 
represent the piece. He'd like to, nat- 
urally. He needed the sale. But he 
couldn't afford to offend an important 
customer. "It no longer contains a 
true spirit, sir, I regret to say." 

The Collector nodded, turning the 
trinket slightly with the edge of his 

"But." the Seller continued, a trifle 
urgently, "the echo is authentic, sir." 

"I'm sure," said the Collector, with a 
sideways glance, his eyes showing 
only a momentary flicker of con- 

"Well, sir," said the Seller, defend- 
ing himself against the glance, "there 
are clever copies in existence. The 
ordinary collector can be deceived. 
Not that you, sir"— he hastened to 
correct himself— "are an ordinary 

"Happy that you think so. " The Col- 



lector turned the ball in his hands, 
examining the portions of the sur- 
face not corrupted by time and bad 
handling. It was shameful the way 
certain pieces deteriorated. But the 
work was authentic; he didn't need 
the Seller to tell him that. You could 
see the little original touches all over 
the object, though they were badly 
encrusted. Unfortunately, you 
couldn't clean the damn things, no 
matter how you worked at them; once 
the corrosion began, it couldn't be 
reversed. He wondered sometimes 
why he bothered with them at all. But 
then, it was always amusing when 
company came and one had a new 
piece to show. He could have it put in 
a gold mount; that'd show it off to 
better advantage. Or hang it from a 
chain in his study, where the lighting 
was usually muted and the defects of 
the sphere wouldn't show too badly. 
"Let me . . . please, sir .." The 
Seller pulled out a cloth from his 
pocket, attempted to shine the tiny 
patch of transparency on the ball. 

But as the cloth touched it, the wail- 
ing came forth, long, low and chill- 
ing . Echo or not, it went right through 
the Seller's soul. 

"The echo is fresh," said the Col- 
lector, smiling for the first time. "The 
spirit must have departed only re- 

"So I'm told, sir." The Seller re- 
sumed his bit of dusting on the sur- 
face, more confident now, for he'd 
seen the smile and knew he had a 
sale. "That's precisely what the 
Caravan Master said when I bought it 
from him, sir— the spirit has but re- 
cently departed." 

The Collector squinted through his 
glass, savoring the moment, knowing 
the piece must be his. for the wail 
was strong. He could listen to it at his 
leisure and learn the story of the 
bauble, who had made it and when. 
All that would still be in the echo. Pity 
the true spirit had fled — that would 
have been a find! 

"Well, I suppose I'll have to have 
this," he said "My wife will hate it, of 

"Because of the wailing, sir?" 

"Puts her off. Gives her the 

The Seller continued his dusting, "I 
must admit, it gives me the creeps, 

"You don't know how to listen," the 
Collector said. "You must get past the 
superficial sound and hear the 
traces of its inner voice." 

"You have the knack for it, sir, that's 
clear" The Seller masked his own 
contempt behind a cheerful smile. 
He'd be glad to have the cursed 
thing out of the shop and be done 
with its bloody wailing. 

"Much to be learned, much," said 
the Collector, aware that he was re- 
vealing too great an excitement and 


ruEXT oruirui 



knowing he'd suffer in the bargain, but he 
didn'l care at this point. The wailing had 
thrilled him. These little ornaments were al- 
ways filled with surprises, even when they 
were as old as this one and all that re- 
mained of their glory was a fading echo. 

"Microbes," he said, inspecting the ball 
with his glass again. "They say that's what 
causes the deterioration." 

"I've heard the same, sir. Tiny organisms 
that feed upon the workings." 

"Once it was brand-new," the Collector 
said, holdingthe ball up to the light, "Can 
we ever conceive of the beauty it must have 
contained? How splendid its workmanship 
was? If the spirit that once inhabited this 
ball were Still present, it could tell us more 
than just who made it and when — " He 
paused, his eyes shining with the intoxica- 
tion ot the connoisseur. "It would engage us 
in deep discussion, whisper to us of the 
wondrous workings of its mechanisms, 
give us the secret of its maker. It would 
grant us, in short, the favor of ifs enchanting 
company, but"— he placed the ball back on 
its dark velvet cloth — "this is a lifeless trin- 
ket now." 

The Seller concealed a sneer behind his 
polishing cloth. These collectors were such 
pompous old bores. Listening to their 
twaddle made him sick. "You saw my sale 
sign, sir. Fifty percent off all items in the 

"Yes," said the Collector, disappointed at 
his failure to kindle true appreciation in the 
Seller. But what did these merchants know 
of subtlety? And in any case, once he was 
home and visitors came, then he could ex- 
pand fully, then he'd have his fun in the 
comfort of his armchair in the study, with the 
tire crackling and the bauble suspended 
on a suitable chain, in the shadows by the 
window, perhaps. "All right, how much do 
you want tor it?" 

"As you can see, sir, through this bit of 
transparency, the center is filled with 

"But surely that's not unusual — " 

"The fakes, sir, are glass-tilled—" 

The Collector adjusted his top hat, 
turned up the collar on his cape. The bau- 
ble was in his pocket, and a thin smile 
played upon his lips. He'd driven a hard 

and cunning bargain. 

The Seller graciously held the door, sly 
satisfaction in his eyes. He'd gotten twice 
what the trinket was worth. These foreign 
collectors often think they know it all. 

"Do you remember, perchance," asked 
the Collector, drawing the sphere from his 
pocket as he stepped into the bright street, 
"what the Caravan Vasts' called this thing 
when he sold it to you?" 

"A peculiar name, sir," replied the Seller. 
"He called it Earth," 

"Earth. I see. Very well then, my good 
man, I shall undoubtedly visit you again." 

"My pleasure, sir, always." 

The Seller closed his door and watched 
as the Collector walked on down the glitter- 
ing, milky boulevard. OQ 



possible in theater to alternate more fre- 
quently between these interior and exterior 
impressions to make new views of reality. 

"For instance, if you are watching televi- 
sion and there is a newscaster who says 
that President Kennedy was assassinated 
today, you don't notice that the newscaster 
is wearing a black suit with a red-and-blue 
tie. But if you turn the TV's sound otf and 
turn on the radio and listen to Mozart, or 
something else, perhaps you look at the 
picture more intensely, or listen to the music 
more intensely, or both at the same time. It's 
difficult to see and 
hear at the same time, 
but I think it's some- 
thing we're going to 
do a lot more of." 

Einstein on the 
Beach revolves 

around several recur- 
ring visual images, 
each having its own 
thematic music and 
dances. Trains: The 
toy trains of Einstein's 
boyhood seguetothe 
trains later used as 
analogies to explain 
the theory of relativity. 
The trial scene, ac- 
cording to critic 
Robert Palmer, "reso- 
nates with the awe- 
some implications of 
his discoveries." The 
stunning vision of the 
Spaceship: "repre- 
senting perhaps the 
potential for liberation 
and transcendence 
that Einstein also un- 

But there is no way 
to convey the com- 
plex interrelationship 
of images, as Einstein 
himself wanders the 
stage at times or 
stands apart from the 
action, violin in hand. 
Its elements are formed into a coherent plot 
only in the mind of the listener/viewer. 

It is difficult, too, after being raised on 
high-school productions of Our Town and 
on Broadway musicals, to envision the the- 
ater of Robert Wilson. What is drama, when 
meaning and emotion, its most conven- 
tionally important aspects, are taken away? 

Wilson splits the atom of conventional 
theater. What remain are the component 
particles— lighting, costumes, sound, 
sets, dialogue, music— all independent, all 
traveling along randomly convergent 
paths. Without the usual strictures of text, 
plot, and subplot, we're freed to explore the 
individual drama of each component. 

"In the Sixties a friend of mine made 

some sixteen-millimeter films of mothers 
and their babies," Wilson recounts. "When 
a baby cried, the mother would pick him up 
and comfort him. My friend slowed down 1 
these films and looked at them frame by 
frame. He found that in three out of eight 
cases the initial reaction of the mother in 
the first three frames is that of attacking the 
baby. And in the next three frames she 
demonstrates another emotion; In the next 
she's doing something else again. When 
the mother saw the film, she said, 'But I love 
my child. That's not what's really happen- 
ing,' which is very complicated. In that split 
second there are many different emotions, 
many physical reactions. We can't illus- 
trate what we're feeling. It's too complex." 

A smooth whiskey 

is a work of art. 

A smooth whiskey at 101 proof 

is a masterpiece. 




Communication and the nature of 
speech itself have been central concerns 
of Wilson's theater. Personal speech dif- 
ficulties overcome in adolescence led him 
to devote a great deal of work and attention 
to the problems of brain-damaged chil- 
dren. He taught painting and body-move- 
ment classes and later involved many of his 
students in his productions. 

Christopher Knowles is a student and 
friend who helped to write certain pas- 
sages in Einstein on the Beach. Knowies, 
autistic from birth, has grown to become an 
accomplished poet and graphic artist with 
Wilson's guidance and support. He has 
collaborated on some of Wilson's major 
works and has Influenced Wilson's own 

theories of sound and the spoken word, 

"We're all blind and deaf all the time," 
Knowles says. "If you blink your eyes, you're 
blind for that time. What do you see? If you 
are blind, you have a feeling or impression 
of sight. The body sees — feels— the vibra- 
tion of colon If you're deaf, you don't hear, 
but your body does." 

In Knowles's script for Einstein on the 
Beach, the recitatives take on an incanta- 
tory tone through the repetition of phrases 
and thoughts. Language is dissolved into 
its primary components of sound. "I'm in- 
terested in separation," says Wilson. "In 
Edison, the actors were hooked up to radio 
mikes so that their voices came from 
speakers placed in back of the audience, 
from a source other 
than the one that was 
seen. In addition to 
these mikes, there 
were sometimes as 
many as sixteen dif- 
ferent tapes happen- 
ing simultaneously." 

Currently at work on 
a six-and-a-half-hour 
program for West 
German TV— to be 
broadcast at 11:30 
rm. and run through 
the night— Wilson 
sees television as the 
dramatic medium of 
the future. "Televi- 
sion's scale is so dif- 
ferent from theater's. 
The space, time, tex- 
ture, color — every- 
thing is different. TV 
happens quicker In 
the theater I can 
spend half an hour 
walking five feet. In a 
performance in Bel- 
gium I did almost that, 
and seventeen hun- 
dred people sat and 
watched. On TV they 
never would have. TV 
is about close-ups, 
the movement of the 
eye, impact." 

Wilson's future may 
be today, but you'll 
have a hard time seeing it in the United 
States. Einstein and Edison sold out in a 
matter of hours in New York, but popularity 
could not offset production costs. Lacking 
government subsidies, Wilson can rarely 
mount one of his productions. 

"In Europe I'm already part of the main- 
stream:" he says. "But here we're dealing 
with a young country, only two hundred 
years old. But it's about to grow, to change." 
There are hopeful signs. Wilson has 
been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, 
and a modest production of his latest work, 
Dialog/Curious Goorge. olayed seven days 
in New York. The tide is changing for this 
director, whom Eugene lonesco has called 
'America's most important dramatist." DO 


Cart Sagan takes a trip in "The 
Time Machine" (from the George 

e oi the same name). 
At right, at Lowell Observatory, 
Sagan retraces the martisn 
controversy and how it led to 
the Viking exploration of Mars. 

J space, plunging 
through faraway galaxies, 
spiraling toward the Milky Way 
Stars blur past until one dot in 
particular grows from a fuzzy 
speck to a sphere of soft-blue 
and green. The globe ex- 
pands, landmasses become 
distinct, clouds part, and the 
surface nears. After a flight 
spanning millions of light- 
years, we come gently to rest, 
gazing out on Alexandria 
and Egypt, and we find the 
Greek scientist Eratosthenes 
busily computing the circum- 
ference of planet Earth, 

This is the prelude to an 
ambitious new television 
series called COSMOS. A 
saga of scientific discovery, 
the $8 million Public Broad- 
casting System presentation 
claims to be the first TV pro- 
gram to blend state-of-the-art 
special effects with nontech- 
nical language in an effort to 
take some of the scare out of 
science. The 13-parl series, 
scheduled to begin Septem- 
ber 28, takes the form of an 
epic journey The viewer is 
carried along on a tour of the 
universe, conducted from the 
comfortable seat of a quaint, 
almost cathedrallike, Wellsian 
spaceship whose pilot— the 
host and principal writer of the 
series— is Carl Sagan, 




This intergalactic 

TV saga takes the scare 

out of science 


According to Sagan, the distinguished 
astronomer and Pulitzer Prize-winning au- 
thor, COSMOS was born iour years ago 
while he was a scientist attached to the 
Viking Mars mission. Deeply annoyed by 
the bland, uninformed reporting that 
dogged that historical event, he estab- 
lished Carl Sagan Productions, whose 
purpose, in his own words, "is to bring sci- 
ence to the public in an accurate, en- 
thusiastic manner." COSMOS is the first 
tangible by-product of this commitment. 
The program is also an opportunity for 
Sagan to drive home an important cause of 
his: the exploration of our solar system. 
(See page 35 for Sagan's plan on how you 
can participate in urging our government to 

continue planetary exploration.) 

Sagan is assisted in his odyssey through 
time and space by some innovative video 
wizardry. Among the many special effects 
in COSMOS is a 25-minute journey from the 
realm ot remote galaxies 8 billion light- 
years away past quasars, exploding radio 
galaxies, black holes, pulsars, interstellar 
clouds of gas and dust, the Orion Nebula, 
and all the planets in our solar system. 
There is also a dramatic re-creation ot the 
great Library of ancient Alexandria, a rep- 
resentation of Sagan's Cosmic Calendar 
(which compresses the 1 5-billion-year his- 
tory ot the universe into a single cosmic 
year), a plunge into the living cell with the 
most accurate representation of DNAfunc- 

tion ever attempted, and an excursion into 
the human brain. 

The secret behind the special effects is a 
new camera system linking computers to 
cinematography. Microprocessors simu- 
late motion through space, and the com- 
puter can place as many as six galaxies in 
correct spatial relation to one another. 

Sagan is convinced COSMOS will en- 
lighten a large audience because the pro- 
gram is entertaining rather than pedantic. 
"I enjoy popularizing science," he de- 
clares. To those critics who say the casual 
personality of COSMOS undermines its in- 
tellectual integrity, Sagan counters, 
"Popularization, it must be remembered, is 
not the same as vulgarization. "OO 

In COSMOS, among the worlds: 

Carl Sagan reaches out lor the 

moon (top) and walks through 

the inner solar system (lower 

right) in one of the more than 

100 sets and locations in the 

new TV series. In a discussion 

of the curvature of space, he 

holds up a three-dimensional 

projection of a four-dimensional 

hypercube, or tesseracl (top 

right), in program 10, devoted to 

cosmology The 92 naturally 

occurring chemical elements — 

all but hydrogen and helium 

made in the insides of stars 

(right middle photograph). 



He could afford the best, but this one was on the house 


Throughout the habitable domes of 
(he solar system, from Venus to Ihe 
moons of Jupiter, there are beings 
who will tell you, if the subject comes up. 
that the Titanians as a race are shrewd. 
crafty opportunists of a high order. 

This, of course, is a myth True, there 
are natives of Titan who may possess 
Ihese characteristics, but they are prob- 
ably no more numerous, relatively speak- 
ing, than similar inhabitants of any other 
clime. If pressed for an example, however, 
one might bring up Mr Lefkoviz 

One evening, at the tail end of a busi- 
ness trip to Mars. Mr. ' Lefkoviz rode a 
rackshu along the silicon streets of Crater 
City until, finally, he reached the D2 Mes- 
cence Mall. Fancy's Place was third on 
the left. 

Mr. Lefkoviz banged on the door with 
his muggerstik Through a peephole a 
pair of purple eyes gave him Ihe once- 
over. The door slid sideways, and Mr. Lef- 
koviz crossed the threshold 

"Can I help you?" the girl asked. Clad 
only in sandals and a simple yellow tunic 
that was draped to a poinl fifteen centi- 
meters below her navel, she was obvi- 
ously a Callistan. violet skin and all. 

"I'm looking for Fanzy." Mr Lefkoviz 

"You have an appointment?" 

"No appointment." 

"Can you tell me the nature of your 

"In such a place there is another kind of 
business 9 " 

"Oh." the girl said. "In that case /'// show 
you around " 

"No. I have to have Fanzy," 

"I'm sorry Thai's impossible." 

"Why impossible?" 

"For one thing, Fanzy's not one of the 
girls. She's director here. And for another, 
she's retired. From floor duty, that is." 

"That she can be telling me herself. Tell 
her Mr. Lefkoviz is here." 

Persistence may indeed be the most 
powerful force in our society. It was obvi- 
ous Ihe violet-skinned filly was not going 
to dissuade Mr Lefkoviz from reaching 
his objective. She decided to let her boss 
handle the situation. 

The director was working on govern- 
ment forms when Mr. Lefkoviz was 
ushered into her office. If one liked his 
females ample, Fanzy was ample. What 
was more, even a crilical connoisseur of 


amplitude would have neon to.'ced to admit 
that Molher Nature, in overendowing, 
had used fine judgment in contouring the 

"What do you want?" Fanzy asked. 

"I want you, Fanzy." 

"Are you some kind of nut or something?" 

"Is it only a nut, Fanzy, that would ask tor 

At this, she dropped ne papers on to her 
desk and looked at Mr. Lefkoviz with mild 
interest. Middle-aged, balding a little on 
lop, a certain Ihickehing at the belt line, 
and apparently an outlander with antece- 
dents not dissimilar lo her own, Mr. Leikoviz way turned her off physically In addi- 
tion, he had lhat air of assurance, quiet 
humor, and flattering determination. He 
-also was — 

Fanzy slapped a lid on her thoughts. She 
already had an adequate lover. As lor busi- 
ness, going back on the floor was just ret- 

"Mr. Lefkoviz. it's out of the question. One 
of my delightful playmates will take care of 
you. Have you ever been caressed by a 
furry wogglie from Ceres? She's soft as a 
teddy bear," 

"No. Fanzy A wogglie I don't want." 

"How about a' mermaid, then? They do it, 
loo, you know You just have to know which 
scales to lift." 

"Oh? Every day I learn." 

"How abou: trying one- of our rare woo- 
woo androids, imported from Stateside? 

Among other [hinos.slie'li blow your mind." 


"Well, then we come to the giant vulva 
plan.tfrom Venus. You can slip into her up to: 
your armpits. Believe me, the massage you 
get from her is the living end. I mean ulli- 

" It's no use. My mind is made up. For you 
I've got plenty o' robles How much do you 

There is no shaking this clown, Fanzy 
thought. Her simplest course was to name 
a figure so outrageous the poor John would 
have to beat a retreat. She stoo.d up, 
stretched her arms out to the side, and 
gazed down a- her extensive mammary ar- 

"We're looking at five hundred robles, Mr. 
Lefkoviz." she said. 

Mr: Lelkoviz was also staring at the ar- 
chitecture. Then, pulling out a small roll of 
currency, he peeled off five c sp huncred- 
roblenoles and placed them on the desk in 
front of her 

"So who haggles?" he said. 

Fanzy took a deep breath and let it es- 
cape through her teeth. There was no way 
out lor her now. but — what the hell, she 
thought, five hundred robles was five 
hundred robles. As she picked up the 
money and placed it in a desk drawer, she 
couldn't help wondering what the current 
record was in the G'ness Book. 

An hour later she accompanied him per- 
sonally to the door. It certainly had been an 

interesting evenhg Maybe she should 
keep her hand in occasionally just for prac- 
tice. Tod bad Lefkovizes came along only 
once in a lifetime. 
In that, Fanzy was wrong. 

Early the next morning the door in D2 
Mescence Mall ^. ; as aga n ha-'r-iereci by a 
muggerstik. There"s.ioo'd Mr. Lefkoviz. 

'All night I couldn't sleep, thinking of 
you," he said to Fanzy, who hadn't yet got 
the blankel fuzz oul of her eyes. 

"My God, Mr. Leikoviz, it's the crack of 
dawn. Can't we have some coffee?" 

"So fine, bring coffee." 

Fanzy looked at him with suspicious 
eyes. "My price, you know, is no cheaper 
this time," 

Withou! a word Mr. Lefkov z brought cut 
what was lefl of the roll and handed it to her. 
She leafed through itandiound it precisely 
correct. They dawdled through coftee, and 
Fanzy led him upstairs. 

This lime, at leave-taking, she held onto 
his hand. All things considered, clients of 
his caliber should be tendered some ap- 

"When am I going to seeyou again?" she 

"Who knows?" he said. "I'm going back 
to Titan today." 

"Titan? Why, what a coincidence! My 
mother lives on Titan." 

"I know," said Mr. Lefkoviz "She gave- me 
a thousand robles to give to you. ' DO 


daily to both Marcia and her husband. 
Tapes of the experiments ■were made from 
April 1976 through February 1978. During 
session 6, on November 8. 1977, Marcia 
described her first contact with extrater- 
restrials; "I seemed to be in a place of 
wheels. It was being made manifest that all 
creation is based on some form of rotary 
motion, whether axial or around a great! 
center. There are whole hierarchies of s 
chetypes descending from abstract to 
concrete realms of being, and this was the 
place where these patterning principles 
are given their initial momentum." 

An all-too-familiar thread weaves its way 
through yet another of Marcia's inner jour- 
neys. "I strongly sensed the quality of be- 
nign beings, who for the sake of discussion 
can be labeled aliens. The unexpected 
conclusion of tuning in on the vibratory fre- 
quencies ol these 'aliens' was the recogni- 
tion that they were us! Or at least we were 
being used as tools of their reconnoitering." 

This conforms to Jung's interpretation. 
"As our dreams show very clearly," the psy- 
chologist writes in Flying Saucers, "UFOs 
come from the unconscious background, 
which always expresses Iself n numinous 
ideas and images. This slrange phenome- 
non . . . suggests that consciousness has 
lost its balance, enabling a one-sided view 
to prevail. If consciousness loses its. bal- 
ance, then man views things from one 
angle only and reduces them to a single 
principle involving a superior intelligence. 
Civilized man, like primitive man. is mindful 
of the gods, of the spirits, and of fate and 
the magical qualities of time and place." 

While Moore's drug experiments appear 
to support June's -lyooiriesis, an ultimate 
proof remains elusive. Could these cere 
bral UFO experiences indicate the need to 
search for a new "psychology ot being"? 
Do we all desire to go beyond the material 
and social aspects of life? Lyall Watson 
suggests that man is undergoing a revolu- 
tionary change in consciousness, 
heightening of awareness in the psychic 
realm, which may explain UFO phenomena. 

One who disagrees is Desmond Morris, 
anthropologist and author of the best seller 
The Naked Ape. "I don't believe man is now 
developing new psychic properties," Mor- 
ris declared. "Man has inherited ancient 
psychic abilities that, until now, have i\ 
dormant owing to a preoccupation with 
scientitic and analytical modes of think- 
ing." Morris believes this highly developed 
specialization could be brought to light if 
science reevaluated its significance. 
"Slowly the scientific community is becom- 
ing more open to psychic thought, but it is 
not totally convinced of its genuineness. 
Rather than speculate on its origins, 
what's needed, is to promote advanced 
research into new areas of physics and biol- 
ogy, which may lead to a better under- 
" standing of what UFOs are all about. "OO 


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such a small teat would be immense, yet 
Randi would have no difiiculty whatever in 
duplicating the feat by no less than several 
thousand existing technical means. Would 
Randi's duplication disprove the existence 
of a psychic force? Did the invention of the 
automobile disprove the existence of the. 
horse? No. There is more than one way to 
get from point A to point B. The transition is 
made just the same. 

Randi's proposition puts the true psychic 
{if one exists) at a disadvantage. Deform or 
break a remote object. (Microwaves? Parti- 
cle beams?) Divine the presence or nature 
ot a concealed substance. (Oil company 
geologists do it with seismic waves.) Isn't 
invisibility merely a light-refraction trick? 
The ten of diamonds weighs more than the 
ace because it carries more ink, 

It any true psychics exist. Randi's chal- 
lenge is superfluous. One day Randi's bank 
balance will decrease by $10,000, and no 
one in the data-processing department will 
be able to explain how it happened. 

C. J. Anderson 
Burnsville., Minn, 

James Randi replies: / am puzzled by your 
comments. My ofler is lor a "psychic" dem- 
onstration. The "psychics" claim that these 
are not tricks, that they work; and that they 
happen in a manner not ordinarily explain- 
able by regular science. 

As for moving a steel ball, it the condi- 
tions were correctly set up and it the psy- 
chic could indeed cause the steel ball to 
roll, he or she would collect the prize. The 
fact that I could also do this stunt by trick- 
ery would not invalidate the win. It is up to 
me to see that I allow no "ordinary" forces 
(magnetism, gravity, heat, etc.) to be used 
to move the bail. The requirement is that the 
ball move without these ordinary, normal 
forces being used— in other words, by 
paranormal force. I don't know where you 
got the idea, that duplication of the phe- 
nomenon invalidated the demonstration. 

Incidentally the weight of the ink used to 
portray nine diamond shapes on a playing 
card is minute — so minute that it falls well 
within the average difference in weight of 
any two playing cards. Thus, your ten- 
heavier-than-ace statement is neither per- 
tinent nor correct. 

My offer is now more than 75 years old. 
My money has never been safer. 

Oberg vs. Cooper 

An interesting conflict occurred in Omni's 
March I960 issue. In the UFO Update arti- 
cle, James Oberg, as usual, chose to "de- 
bunk" a questionable tabloid UFO-sighting 
story. This is ot course easy, for any in- 
formed UFO researcher is aware that these 
tabloids tend to supersensationalize ob- 
servations of UFOs. 

At variance with this, a sighting is men- 
tioned in Omni'B Interview with former U.S. 

astronaut Gordon Cooper, who was asked 
about a UFO that he allegedly saw in the- 
skies over Germany in the 1950s. He said 
that he and others sighted, and tried to 
pursue, "groups of metallic, saucer- 
shaped vehicles at great altitudes overthe 
base." He claims that this continued for 
"several days in a row," Unfortunately, these 
objects outmaneuvered the pursuing fight- 
ers and sped away each time. 

It would be very interesting to have Mr. 
Oberg interview Mr. Cooper and bring out 
the details ot this sighting. A trained and 
respected man such as Mr. Cooper would 
make a very credible witness. 

Mike Bucker 
Richmond, Va. 

In the Interview with Gordon Cooper, he is 
quoted as saying. "I think we could very 
likely bring together the talent to build a 
time machine," and later, "I do believe 
UFOs exist and that truly unexplained ones 
are from some other technologically ad- 
vanced civilization." 

Putting these two ideas together, is it not 
reasonable to think that 'the UFO may be a 
time machine from an advanced civiliza- 
tion right here on Earth, say, 100 years 
hence? Thus. UFOs would be vehicles, not 
from outer space, but from "outer time"— 
possibly crewed by little green robots. 

Peter H. Adams 

Wentworth Falls, N.S.W 


Was Gordon Cooper just pulling our limbs, 
or was he unwittingly suggesting some- 
thing rather strange? 

I was particularly struck when I com- 
bined two statements Cooper made: (1) 
that it was theoretically possible to con- 
struct a time machine, and (2) that he 
doubted that some UFOs were from "any- 
where on Earth" because of their "perform- 
ance capabilities." 

Since it has been speculated by others 
("Dark Sanctuary," May 1979) that any in- 
terstellar travelers would find some diffi- 
culty in withstanding Earth's gravity after 
living and evolving in a zero or fractional 
gravity during the time required to traverse 
interstellar space, and since they could 
quite easily resupply themselves from the 
asteroid belt or from Jupiter and its satel- 
lites and would have no need to visit Earth, I 
am led to believe that these smaller craft 
that Cooper allegedly pursued over Ger- 
many were not nterstei>ar :no r iginatall. but 
in fact are from somewhere here on Earth. 

That is, they may be time-traveling ships 
that will have been developed from the very 
technology hinted ai by Cooper 

If so, then Cooper and Omni should 
claim credit for all the UFOs we've sup- 
posedly been sighting. 

Richard E. Bridges 
Kalamazoo, Mich. 

The Age of Science Fiction 

I beg to differ with Jetf Rovin's Film column 

[March 1980]. Rovin's first mistake was in 




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labeling films like Star Wars. The Black 
Hole, and Star Trek as science. fiction. Their 
own creators admit them to be science fan- 
tasy, Star Wars especially. They are obvi- 
ously not high-brow films — because they 
were not intended to be. 

Though I thoroughly enjoy "literary" sci- 
ence fiction like Dune (by the way, films 
based on Dune and Childhood's End are in 
the works, and we've already had The Mar- 
tian Chronicles andTha Lathe of Heaven), I 
find the films mentioned also enjoyable. 
Besides, the audience for true science fic- 
tion is still small compared to the numbers 
of fans of films like Star Wars, thus making 
really good films uneconomical, But this 
| situation won't last long. Since Star War's, 
ushered in the present sc eoce-fiction/fan- 
tasy boom, sales ot all kinds of science 
fiction at bookstores have gone up. People 
who started by reading novelizations of 
films are drawn into the world of classic 
science fiction. 

Rather than berate them for their lack of 
characterization, we should be thankful 
that these films are introducing science fic- 
tion to the masses. The Age of Science 
Fiction is just getting started. 

J. Michael Smith 

St. Bruno, RQ. 


man Guinea Pigs 

a '"human guinea pig," I feel I must 
comment on a letter submitted by Kathleen 
Sommers [Forum, March 1980]. Without 
experimentation on humans, no new med- 
icines, no new vaccines, and no new surgi- 
cal procedures would be available to 
people who 'most certainly would die with- 
out them. 

Abuses have occurred, I concede, but I 
submit that, for each test-tube baby de- 
stroyed, hundreds — no, thousands — of 
babies have escaped the ravages of polio, 
smallpox, and diphtheria. 

I am currently involved in a hepatitis B 
i/accine study thai, if successful, will save 
many health-care professionals inc. :c 
mention dialysis patients, diabetics, and 
drug addicts) each year. 

am not well paid, but I am very happy 
ne a part of this work. 

Ron Halbert 

Baylor College of Medicine 

Houston, Tex. 

Ms. Kathleen Sommers says that HEW was 
tunding research into the fertilization of 
hamster eggs by using human sperm. This 
erroneous statement should be corrected. 
The object of these tests is not iertilization 
■ but the fertility of the male donors involved. 
In the past the only test of male fertility 
was a microscopic examination of the 
sperm to determine numbers, shape, and 
motility. This process has proved very in- 
accurate, both as a positive and as a nega- 
tive indication of fertility. The only true indi- 
cation of male fertility is the ability of sperm 
to penetrate an egg. Since the technical 
problems inherent in obtaining human ova 

are great, not Id mtntion the legal and ethi- 
cal barriers, animal ova must be used. 

Two years ago researchers in Hawaii 
found a way to treat hamster ova by remov- 
ing the outer layer so as to allow human 
sperm to penetrate. The ova, being of a 
different species, die immediately. There is 
no long-term evidence as yet, but there is a 
sirong indication that this test is much more 
reliable than sperm examination. 

This lest is currently being used in a 
study oi DES sons, who seem to show a 
higher rate of infertility than the general 
male population but who show no deviation 
in sperm analysis. It is also hoped that this 
test might be used as an alternative to the 
expensive and uncomfortable tests that 
are now being given to married women who 
evince iniertility problems. This should be a 
desirable goal for someone concerned 
wilh human life, which Kathleen Sommers 
professes to be. 

Dennis S. Murray 
Kent, Wash. 

New "Manhattan Project" 
The end of economic prosperity as we have 
cometo know it in this country is looming on 
the horizon. The reason is energy. Using 
and wasting vast quantities of energy we 
are forced to import vast quantities of ex- 
pensive oil from the Arabs. 

Jane S. Wilson suggested [Continuum, 
May 1980] that we undertake a "Manhattan 
Project" ior energy Specif caNy. sne sug- 
gested full-scale development of fusion 
power. Once fusion power is realized on a 
commercial level, our energy appetite will 
be satiated for centuries to come. There 
was an inleresting implication in Ms. Wil- 
son's article. As an alumna of the Manhat- 
tan Project, she seems eager to partici- 
pate. Perhaps those from the fission-power 
project who are still alive could lead the 
way in a fusion-power project. We should 
call on them. Perhaps they could unite and 
ask the President to give them-, and the 
many others who would be needed, the 
opportunity to reach yet another scientific 

Let's take the $30 billion the generals 
want to spend on the MX and give it to the 
scientists to spend on energy independ- 

Robert W. Ford. Jr. 
Rock Hill, S.C. 

Stewed Mice 

As an avid reader of Omni, I was somewhat 
surprised to see the "Educational Alcohol" 
item [May 1980] among the usually excel- 
lent pieces in Continuum. 

Drs. Ronald L. Alkana and Elizabeth S. 
Parker conclude, from their research that 
mice given ethanol remember an unpleas- 
ant experience better than sober mice do. 
They base this finding on the results of tests 
in which sober mice repeatedly moved to- 
ward a dark hole, wherein a mild electric 
shock awaited them, in less time than 
drunken mice did. 

A mouse that is given alcohol and then 




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money orde 

'adl; 3(or].!4.l) 


moves more slowly Ihan one that is given 
saline is only proof that alcohol is a depres- 

Dt-Alkana's claim, that memory is en- 
hanced could be better supported with 
more conclusive testing, e.g., one in which 
the mice that remember better must react 
and move iasler than control mice do. 

It is not valid to draw conclusions based 
on insufficient testing, as any sever blind 
men prove on the subject of elephants. 

Robert M, Sonnicksen 
Chicago, III, 

Dr. Ronald L, Alkana replies: The mice were 
not under the influence of alcohol when 
they were tested, as implied in the article 
(paragraph 5, lines 8-12). The mice were 
trained, injected with alcohol immediately 
after training, and then tested for their 
memory of the shock one week after the 
alcohol injection. Therefore, there was no 
alcohol in their systems to slow them down 
when they were tested. The longer retention 
latencies in the mice that received alcohol 
cannot be explained by an etfect of alcohol 
on their mobility. 

Time Travelers 

I just finished reading "How lo Build a Time 
Machine" [May 1980], and I am thoroughly 
fascinated, Up to now I had no idea that 
Ihere was any feasible way to build a real 
time machine. However, there is one very 
important paradox that I think Dr Robert L, 
Forward should have gone into. This para- 
dox is, simply, this: If you went through the 
time machine,-when you reached your des- 
tination, would you meet yourself? 

Think about it. Say you had been given 
an Acme Superdeluxe Time Machine (built, 
for the sake of argument, a month ago) and 
you wanted to go back to yesterday. If yes- 
terday you had been where the time ma- 
chine was at the time you teleported back, 
would you be ihere waiting for you? 

Some people would consider this to be 
an unsatisfactory condition. Not .so. What 
better friend could you possibly have than 
yourself? Here's another prospect. Sup- 
pose a person wanted to take over the 
world, -and suppose this person had all the 
ships and missiles and laser cannons (?) 
needed for such a task, but not enough 
followers loyal to his cause. Now picture 
this person getting into his time machine 
and traveling back one minute, picking up 
the version of himself in this time zone, and 
going back another minute. Imagine him 
doing this 2 million or 3 million times (going 
backward and forward in time). He would 
have an army more loyal than any in history, 
What if Hitler had had a time machine? 

A terrifying concept, as you can see. I 

believe, if we develop the technology to 

make a time machine, we should take a 

look at all the ramifications of such a thing. 

Mark Holt 

Richmond, Va. 

I Hog Love 

I As an animal, man forms' a distinct cate- 

gory- that of a volitional, rational animal, 
Volitional means "capable of self-directed 
action," Rational means "dealing with the 
environment primarily by the use of con- 
ceptual faculty." This means that man is not 
a Skinnerian gremlin whose actions and 
reelings are determined by his immediate 
environment but rather that he chooses to 
perform his actions in accordance with his 

Because man is mortal, he must have 
values; hence, the concepts of good and 
evil. If man were not mortal, such distinc- 
tions would not be necessary. It is a 
metaphysical given (i.e., it exists in reality 
necessarily) that men will value some 
things highly and others less, but what they 
value must be chosen. - 

The source of values is man's mind. He is 
above all not an instinctive animal. He must 
discover what it is he should value by the 
same means that he uses to rule his life— 
by his conceptual, rational ability. 

Kathleen Stein's, item "Scent of Sex" 
[Continuum, April 1980] distressed me 
quite a bit. What she and the "scientists" fail 
to realize is that one feels sexually attracted 
toward someone whom one values and that 
these values are chosen; they are not 
metaphysically determined, One wishes to 
engage in sex with someone who meets 
one's standards of value, not because he or 
she smells like a hog. 

This kind of error arises when one con- 
fuses the metaphysically determined (real- 
ity) with the chosen (artificial). 

Bruce Douglass 
Eugene, Ore. 

Tuning Up 

I found the problem involving the piano 
tuner [Games, June 1980] particularly in- 
teresting. Though your answer is quite cor- 
rect, you might find it interesting that pianos 
are purposely tuned slightly out of tune to 
allow for the varying string gauges in- 
volved. If a piano has each string "per- 
fectly" tuned, chords played on it will sound 
like mud. A truly perfectly tuned piano is 
one that has each string precisely out of 
tune. Thanks for the intellectual challenge 
each month, 

James D. Port 
Menomonee Falls, Wis. DO 




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By DickTeresi 

Robert Oppenheimer, the man 
who headed the team of Los 
Alamos scientists that gave 
us the atom bomb, was a superlative 

physicist, but his arithmetic was awful. His 
sloppy calculations sometimes affected 
the validity of his results, 

Carl Anderson won the Nobel Prize for 
his discovery of the positron at the age of 
forty-two, but he had to wait seven more 
years before obtaining full professor status 
at the California Institute of Technology. 

Tidbits such as these enlivened the 
Symposium on the History of Particle 
Physics, held recently at the Fermi National 
Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), in 
Batavia, Illinois, and attended by many of 
the pioneers who had made that history, 
They included Nobel laureates Paul Dirac, 
Willis Lamb, and Julian Schwinger. 

Dirac, at seventy-eight, was the grand 
old man of the symposium. He spoke for 
an hour and a half without notes about the 
development of his theory, which revo- 
lutionized the concept of quantum 
mechanics, providing the theoretical 
background for much of the past 50 years. 

Paul Dirac: No postulation of positrons. 
118 OMNI 

Anderson was too ill to attend in person; 
so his paper was read by someone else 
while he listened in via telephone hookup 
from California. Anderson remarked that 
anyone could have discovered the posi- 
tron in a single afternoon simply by 
following Dirac's theory. When Dirac was 
questioned about this — why had he, 
himself, not postulated those positively 
charged electrons?— he replied, 
"Because I did not have the courage." 

Want to make big bucks in space? Now 
there's a college course that tells you how. 
This fall at The New School, in New York 
City, Mark B. Chartrand III, chairman of the 
Hayden Planetarium, will be leaching a 
class entitled "Working Space: A Primer to 
Extraterrestrial Profits." 

Chartrand will explain how money is 
already being made with communications 
satellites and in spinoff areas, such as the 
insurance business that has grown up 
around the satellites. He'll also explore 
some up-and-coming technologies, such 
as the manufacturing of drugs and optic 
fibers in space. 

Chartrand sees his potential students 
as businessmen, interested laymen, and 
people who might want to invest in space 
industry— "the guy who wonders whether 
he should sell his Con Edison stock be- 
cause he heard the solar-power satellite 
is going to put him out of business." 

The 14-session course begins Thursday 
evening, September 25. 

In this country, we always associate the 
psychedelic drug LSD with Timothy Leary 
who promoted the drug's use in the 1960s. 
But the real father of LSD is Albert 
Hofmann, the seventy-four-year-old retired 
director of natural products research for 
Sandoz, Ltd., the Swiss pharmaceutical 
firm. Hofmann took the world's first acid 
trip, by accident, on April 16, 1943— while 
riding a bicycle through the streets of 
Basel, Switzerland. "I kept pedaling 
harder and harder," Hofmann recalls, "and 
thought I was locked into a spot. Finally, I 
got home and everything had changed, 
had become terrifying. My neighbor came 
in and looked like a horrible witch. My 

Mark Chartrand: Big bucks ir 

assislarii f iearures crew twisted. I 
became very anxious because I didn't 
know whether I would be able to come 
back from this strange world where I didn't 
know where I was, because it was the first 
time. ..." Hofmann had taken a very tiny 
dose of LSD earlier at his lab and had not 
expected any real effects. 

Hofmann was in New York recently to 
promote his new book, LSD: My Problem 
Child (McGraw-Hill), and the inevitable 
question of Timothy Leary came up. 
Hofmann was direct: "I was always 
suspicious of Leary I had the feeling he 
was naive. He was so enthusiastic that he 
wanted to give it [LSD] to everyone, every 
young person. Hold him, 'No, give it to 
people who are prepared for it, who have 
strong, stable psychic structures. Don't 
give itto young people,' " 

Leary, of course, ignored this advice. 
Even so. Hofmann feels the youth culture 
of the 1960s compared favorably with 
what's happening today "It is a crazier 
time now," he said, "but in quite another 
direction. I think in the Sixties there was 
more of a psychological revolution, more 

of a search lor another kind of reality, 
another aspect of life. Now there is always 
anxiety about the terrible things that could 
happen, the fear ol war and destruction of 
nature, Ihe economy— more rational 
questions and problems. There was a 
more mysticai component in the Sixties." 
We'll tell you much more about Albert 
Hofmann in an upcoming Omni interview. 

Fairfax County, Virginia, has given new 
meaning to the expression poetic license. 
Residents there actually need a license to 
write and sell science fiction. One- such 
resident is Alice Sheldon, better known to 
SF readers as the Hugo and Nebula 
award-winning James Tiptree, Jr., and 
Racoona Sheldon, two pseudonyms she 
writes under. 

The reclusive and publiciiy-shy Sheldon 
was notified in May 1979 that the county 
considered her a business and expected 
her to apply for a "specialized occupation 
license." She refused, thus risking a fine of 
up to $300 and/or 30 days in jail for each 
day of noncompliance. 

Essentially, Sheldon fears that once 

Albert Hotmann: New thrills a 

writers and ar- sts a-e granted a license. 
they face the possibility that il might be 
suspended. "The only way a license can 
be withdrawn is if the business in question 
ceases to operate," retorts Paul Smith, 
director of the Fairfax County license 
division of the Office of Assessment. "It is 
not a regulatory license. There are no 
restrictions on practice. It is for revenue or 
tax purposes only." 

In a letter to Locus, the newspaper of 
the SF field, Sheldon noted this attitude 
satirically, writing, "Their position is that 
their license is a revenue-raising formality. 
Tr^ey claim that no- such license has ever 
been denied or revoked on substantive 
grounds, Never mind if you are a cosme- 
tician being sued for turning your clients' 
hair into green tentacles, or an undertaker 
who is chairman of the Coven of Practicing 
Vampires. You still get your license by 
return mail." 

Although she probably does not earn 
enough by writing science fiction to owe a 
tax, Sheldon is pressing onward with the 
fight as a matter of principle. She has 
joked thai she "might train a skunk to carry 
the applicalion in," and in reality she is 
ready to go to jail, if necessary. 

County Assessment Director Smith 
notes that he is not aware of anyone ever 
being prosecuted under the ordinance. 
"But it is still on Ihe books," he says, "and I 
imagine there are situations where it could 
come to the point where someone would 
go to jail." 

John D. Isaacs, perhaps ihe premier 
oceanographer in the world, died of 
cancer June 6, at his home in Rancho 
Santa Fe, Calilornia. 

Isaacs, former director ol the University 
of California's Institute of Marine Re- 
sources and a professor of oceanogra- 
phy at Scripps Institution of Oceanography 
since 1948. was featured in an interview 
in the August 1979 Omni. 

Isaacs was one of science's 
Renaissance men. He proposed, in 
1949, the idea o - ' towing iceoergs from 
Antarctica to droughl-plagued areas. 
He also developed ideas for a skyhook 
technique of using the earth's rotation 

John Isaacs: A mind's eye beneaih the 

to help lift objects into space. He made 
heaolines several years ago when he 
pointed out that the American habit of 
driving on the right side of the road 
increases ihe number of tornadoes in 
the United States. Amazingly. Isaacs 
held no Ph.D. — only a bachelor's 
degree in engineering. 

Roger R. ReveNe, director emeritus of 
Scripps, said, "John Isaacs had more 
original scientific ideas every month than 
mosi scientisls have in a lifetime. John's 
ideas didn't simply sp'mg full-blown out of 
his subconscious, bui rather out of per- 
ceptive observation of the ocean and its 
creatures and out of a profound, almost in- 
tuitive, knowledge of the laws of physics and 
chemistry. In his mind's eye he seemed to 
be able to see the actual motions of the 
ocean's waters beneath the surface and 
the ways fish actually behave in their 
struggleto survive." 

Isaacs's own favorite saying was "When 
I meet the Maker of the universe, I would 
liketobeableiotellhim a little of how it 

He was sixty-seven. OO 



The Ancients called it 

There are no physical limita- 
tions to Inner vision . . . the 
psychic faculties of man know 
no barriers of space or time. A 
world of marvelous phenomena 
awaits your command. Within 
the natural — but unused — 
functions of your mind are dor- 
mant powers which can bring 
about a transformation of your 

Know the mysterious world 
within you and learn the secrets 
of a full and peaceful life! 
The Rosicrucians (not a reli- 
gion) are an age-old brother- 
hood of learning. For centuries 
they have shown men and 
women how to utilize the full- 
ness of their being. This is an 
age of daring adventure . . . but 
the greatest of all is the ex- 
ploration of self. Determine 
your purpose, function and 
powers as a human being. 
Write for your FREE copy 
of "The Mastery of Life" — 
Today! No obligation. No sales- 
men. A nonprofit organization. 
Address: Scribe Z.M.I. 


San Jose, California 95191 U.S.A. 


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San Jose. California 95191 U.S.A. 
Please Bend me the free book, The Mas- 
tery of Life, which explains how I may 
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I find it ironic thai an agency that will 
invent different sets of terms to describe 
the orbit of a craft going to Luna, as op- 
posed to the orbit of one lifting off from 
Luna (remember "Apolune/Perilune, 
Apocynthion/Pericynthion"?), cannot re- 
place the word manned with 'slatted. 
Someday, I suspect, the private sector will 
discover the wisdom of women in space as 
a matter o! economics. Our smaller mass, 
our ability to concentrate on trivial detail. 
and other advantages will give us our place 
when private business ohases out NASA. 

Mary H. Waison 
Austin, Tex. 

What's in a Title? 

Communications [June 1980] included .a 
temper tantrum by G. Gerard Massimei, a 
dentist. He complains that an Omni car- 
toon referring to a dentist as Mr. rather than 
Dr. "is an insult that demands an apology." 
This is laughable and illustrates something 
I find very distasteful. 

Of all the world's professionals, only the 
military, politicians, higher educators, 
judges, clergy, and doctors insist upon a 
title. In the military, there is an obvious 
chain-of-command function; in law and in 
academe, title indicates relative authority, if 
little else; in politics, authority and constitu- 
ency are indicated. 

But in medicine, the title is clearly a. self- 
serving device (hugely successful) to 
place oneself in the public mind somehow 
above one's fellow citizens, solely on the 
basis ot one's chosen work. Even lawyers, 
another preposterously self-important lot, 
don't call themselves Attorney Jones, or 

Mr. Massimei, you are indeed a doctor, 
and I applaud any expertise you may have, 
but you are no more important to society 
than an engineer, a scientist, a plumber, a 
grocer, a policeman, or a garbage collect- 
or—Messrs. (Mmes., etc.) one and all. Mr. 
is not an insult; it is a -form of polite and 
proper address. If your ego prevents you 
from seeing this simple truth, it is too bad. 
Robert C. Buckley 
Daly City, Calif. 

Illegal Listening 

Regarding the column by Dr. Bernard 

Dixon entitled "Listening to Life," which 

appeared in your February 1980 issue and 
which detailed some of the latest scientific 
efforts in attempting to communicate with 
our flora friends, I feel it is important that Dr 
Dixon know that listening to plants is ille- 
gal—it is I' 


Calgary, Alta. 


On Record 

I was pleased and proud to place James A. 
Michener's article "Looking Toward Space" 

[May 1980] in the Congressional Record on 
May 1, 1980. 

As an enthusiastic proponent of our na- 
tion's space program, I was delighted to 
read Mr. Michener's sensitive and eloquent 
arguments for a healthy and aggressive 
U.S. space policy. Although I am not a sci- 
entist, I believe that America will benefit 
from dedication to a transcendent national 
goal. The space program is a thoroughly 
positive endeavor and not a reaction to the 
crises and dilemmas of our earthly condi- 

Howell Heflin 

United States Senate 

Washington, DC. 

Last Men on the Moon 

The romance of the manned space pro- 
gram always appealed to me. I remember 
watching, anxiously, as Neil Armstrong 
slowly, slowly climbed down the ladder, and 
I felt very privileged to see such a sight. I 
didn't realize how privileged I was until I 
read your description of Senator Harrison 
Schmitt in Omnibus [June 1980] as "one of 
the last men to walk on the moon." It makes 
me sad to think that my children may never 
see a man's footprint on another world. 

Margaret A. Hartzell 
Seattle, Wash. 

I was reassured to learn that Senator Harri- 
son Schmitt, former astronaut in Apollo 17, 
has embarked on a legislative career 
[Interview, June 1980]. 

This country needs people of genuine- 
accomplishment in public office, and I 
hope Senator Schmitt will not weary of the 
government's snail-paced bureaucracy. 
We need leadership based on logic and 
know-how, not on public relations and 
media hype. 

R. Nester Ellis 
New York, N.Y. 

Gaia Abandoned 

I must suggest a small correction to the 
Earth column by James E. Lovelock [July 
1980]. Specifically, I am referring to the 
Greek goddess's name that was men- 
tioned, which is correctly spelled as Gaea. 
not Gaia, as it appeared in the article. I 
found it hard to believe that such an error 
would be overlooked when the author was 
doing research of such magnitude. 

Ben Geer 
Hollywood, Fla. 

Both forms are in fact correct. Gaia ;s the 

original Greek spelling: Gaea is a Latinate 
version of the same. Lovelock preferred 
Gaia, both in his article and in his book on 
which the article was based fGaia: A New 
Look at Life on Earth, Oxford University 
Press, 7979J.-Ed. 


Because of a typographical error, the name 
of Nobel laureate Sir Peter Medawar was 
misspelled [Life, July 1980]. We apologize 
for this oversight, OO 



By Ben Mayer 

Earth had lost all communication 
with Voyager 1. The media 
carried the story of a probe cast 
adrift on its journey between Jupiter and 
Saturn, disoriented 990 million kilometers 
from Earth. Any number of circumstances 
could have contused the on-board com- 
puters, causing Voyager to lose its 
critical lock on the guide star Canopus. 
The hapless craft was moving uncontrol- 
lably outward at the dizzying velocity of 
8,320 kilometers per hour. 

"If we bombard it with commands, il 
may pick up our signal and reacquire its 
reference stars," the technician explains. 
"Then the main antenna will point in our 
direction again." We are standing in the 
operations room of the Goldstone Deep 
Space and Satellite Tracking Facility, next 
door to the famous radio telescope for 
which the station is named. The immense 
antenna structure— a prototype for iden- 
tical installations— has fielded many of the 
splendid Martian and Jovian scenes por- 
trayed in television space-shot specials. 
Situated near Barstow, in southern 
California, the deep-space antenna is an 

essential link in a network of radio tele- 
scopes that reaches from Spain to 

Weeks earlier I had been invited by Tom 
and Eva Kuiper, husband and wife astron- 
omers, to visit the "big dish" during one 
of their observing periods. By a stroke of 
fate, my arrival would coincide with a day 
of excitement, even crisis, when research 
might have to defer to the urgent demands 
of the Voyager mission. 

As one drives the lone access road 
toward the facility, scale plays tricks on the 
eye in the endless expanse of the Mojave 
Desert. The first antenna to come into view 
Was not the famed one. A sign identified it 
as the Venus station — one of the many 
smaller dishes located throughout the vast 
space-communication complex. The 
name commemorates the detection of 
Venus by radar in 1 961 , when a radio 
signal was first bounced off the planet. 

Forty-eight kilometers farther north, we 
came to a gently undulating range of 
barren hills. In the distance, dwarfed by 
the emptiness all around, stood the 
celebrated dish. A protective slope 

Goldsione's "big dish": white metal filigree interspersed with the azure blue Of the desert sky. 

sheltered its northeastern exposure and 
denied the approaching visitor a sky- 
silhouetted contour until almost the last 

As nonstation personnel, we first 
reported to the crew supervisor, in the 
mission-support building. After meeting 
with the Kuipers briefly, we set out on a 
tour of the two-story complex, beginning in 
a long corridor flanked by impressive 
computer consoles. Row upon row they 
stood, with names as mind-boggling as 
their functions: There was a Maximum 
Likelihood Convolutional Decoder, and 
nearby a Polarization Track Receiver. One 
bank of equipment was performing critical 
timekeeping functions with a cesium- 
rubidium clock. Attached to it was a large " 
decal that read: Mickey Mouse Time' 

Amid this phalanx of machines, how- 
ever, human hardware was conspicuously 
absent. I wondered where the technicians 
were whose job it was to put the disabled 
craft back on course. 

"The entire worldwide operation of the 
antenna system is remote-controlled from 
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasa- 
dena," I was told. "From there the scientists 
oversee all the activities on their data- 
system terminals." 

That is why so many of the instrument 
panels had oscilloscopes or cathode-ray 
tubes displaying data that were, in turn, 
monitored by closed-circuit TV cameras. 
The talented men and women who were 
at this moment deciding the fate of a craft 
one light-hour away were themselves 
housed three hours to the southwest, 

The tour continued. We set out to 
investigate the antenna itself. Its base 
consists of a round, four-story structure, 
on top of which the giant saucer revolves 
and tilts. Walking between the mission- 
support complex and the pedestal struc- 
ture, we passed the plant where large 
generators are housed to provide power 
for all critical space missions. Reliance on 
long overland power lines is too risky 
when manned spacecraft are being 
tracked. Power failures can spell tragedy. 

As one approaches the monumental 
edifice, one's eye is drawn upward to 
where the white structural beams are 


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interspersed amid the azure blue of the 
desert sky. Like spokes in a wheel, they 
converge on a huge elevation bearing. Its 
rugged sturdiness serves as a reminder of 
metal-straining wind loads and the 7.25- 
million-kilogram burden it must carry. 

The entire revolving upper part of the 
radio telescope is" suspended on a thin 
blanket of oil, which is kept under pressure, 
The central instrument tower, around which 
all systems turn, is hollow and exiends 
deep into the foundations of the pedestal. 
A subterranean tunnel leads back to. the 
basement of the mission-support building. 
Cradled along the walls are shelves upon 
shelves of cables. Only an hour earlier they 
had conveyed signals commanding Voy- 
ager 1 to fire a tiny stabilizing jet. 

By [he time we returned to the facilities 
building, Voyager had already been 
handed on to the next antenna, a third of a 
world away. With the craft oul of Gold- 
stone's reach and the great dish free, the 
original experiment for which I was to be an 
observer could begin, Besides the Kui- 
pers, the astronomical team included Pro- 
fessor James Gunn. the well-known cos- 
mologist, and Dr Gillian (Jill) Knapp, both 
from the California Institute of Technology. 
Movement of the antenna is controlled by a 
servo mechanism operated by an em- 
ployee of the Bendix Corporation, the sub- 
contractor charged with the operation of 
the facility. "They won't let us touch the con- 
trols," somebody had said. 

The purpose of the investigation was to 
establish a connection between traces of* 
radiation left over from the big bang of cre- 
ation and very hot gases suspected in cer- 
tain clusters of galaxies. Since remnants of 
the primordial fireball pervade our entire 
universe, their effect on million-degree 
gases elsewhere in space can be studied. 

To collect the tenuous electromagnetic 
radiation from objects thousands of light- 
years away, a scan is performed. While 
magnetic tapes electronically record the 
slightest fluctuations in radiation, a visual 
record is also kept in real lime. An electri- 
cally charged stylus traces a series of 
squiggles on a moving roll of graph paper. 
"What we are looking for today," Dr, Tom 
Kuiper says, pointing to the paper "will 
amount to no more than an eighth of a cen- 
timeter of constant change on this graph." 

It is only then that the impact of the quest 
strikes you full force: a 42-meter-high in- 
strument tower supporting a 64-meter- 
diameterdish, a full 3,374 square meters of 
antenna in search of traces of electromag- 
netic radiation, which — if they register at 
all — will reveal their presence through 
needle-thin deflections, 

Much later in the day, while the astronom- 
ical experiment was nearing completion at 
Goldstone, word was received via the Aus- 
tralian antenna that at Greenwich Time, day 
350, hour 20:30, Voyager 1 had once again 
locked onto Canopus and that all systems 
were working normally It was on course to 
rendezvous with the planet Saturn on No- 
vember^. 1980.DO 



By Gregory Benford 

How could a black hole be 
driven out of its home galaxy? 
The whole Idea seems bizarre. 
Intuition suggests, tor example, that if 

there is a black hole at the center of our 
own galaxy, gobbling up stars and spew- 
ing out clouds of gas, it should stay 
put. After all, what is so monstrously 
powerful that it could push a black hole 
out of the gravitational "well" at the 
galaxy's center? One rather convincing 
candidate is another black hole. 

Bizarre or not, a clash between black 
holes may be the best explanation for one 
of the strangest astronomical discoveries 
made in recent years. A barred spiral 
galaxy, dubbed NGC 1097, seems to show 
several faint "jets" that all point back 
toward the exact center of the galaxy. 
Jean Lorre, of Pasadena's Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory, made a computer-enhanced 
photothat suppresses the image of [he 
galaxy (the mottled blob) to bring out the 
blue spiral arms and the jets themselves. 

Two blue jets sfand out clearly from the 
random coloring of the background sky. 
The shorter one spreads as if moves away 

from the galaxy Ihen oxoards into a 
luminous, roughly circular patch. The 
other blue jet is longer and wider and 
makes a sudden right-angle turn. 

There are also two red jets. The more 
obvious is exactly opposite the first blue 
jet. The other lies very nearly counter to 
the dogleg blue jet (only 1 1 degrees off). 

Nothing like these jets has been seen in 
any other galaxy. They are all remarkably 
straight. Careful study of NGC 1097's 
spiral arm structure shows that the gas is 
disturbed near the jets.This means the jets 
must pass through the disk of the galaxy. 
Whatever made them was orbiting in the 
same plane as the bulk of the galaxy. 

It seems likely that a single powerful 
event caused both jets. If the galaxy were 
steadily spewing out a beam of matter, for 
example, we would expect to see a 
curved jet, bent by the galaxy's motion, 
just as a moving firehose makes a curved 
spray of water. We can use this to estimate 
the age of the jets. The spiral galaxy 
rotates one full turn every 300 million 
years; so the size of the disturbed areas in 
the spiral arms indicates how long the jet 

NGC 1097: If black holes did 

has been stirring them up. This works out 
to be close to 10 million years. 

Imagine several black holes orbiting 
one another in a gravitational depression. 
Occasionally several holes undergo 
near-miss "collisions" and carom off one 
another like billiard balls. This can knock 
one hole out of the well entirely. In fact, 
calculations show that two or more holes 
can often be ejected in opposite direc- 
tions, thus conserving angular momentum. 

Some very energetic objects — perhaps 
black holes — were probably ejected from 
the galactic center at very high speed. 
They ionized the matter around them, 
swallowed some of it, and sprayed out 
debris. This left a straight path of luminous 
material, like picnickers dumping trash as , 
they go. There are bright, diffuse patches 
of light near where the jets depart from 
the galaxy, and this suggests that the litter 
let! behind was highly energetic. 

Many riddles remain. Why are the coun- 
ter jets red? One explanation is that the 
blue jets come from more energetic black 
holes than the red ones do. These "holes" 
may in fact be groups of objects that were 
ejected as a body from the gaiaxy. Such 
orbiting families can be unslable, can 
even ricochet off each other, ejecting one 
of the black holes from the family. 

This mighl also explain the asfonishing 
right-angle turn the long blue jet makes. 
Perhaps at this point one large black hole 
was thrust to the side and several smaller 
holes went the opposite way. If the smaller 
holes were less active, we would not see 
them. This explanation implies that the 
galactic center held a swarm of black 
holes of varying sizes, with whole clumps 
being ejected. A similar breakup might 
have caused the round blotch where the 
other blue jet ends. It Is very difficult 
to explain the right-angle turn by positing 
a steady flow of matter out of the galaxy 

NGC 1097 is about 60 million light-years 
away. So we are seeing a relatively recent 
event. Elliptical galaxies are usually noted 
for their violent activities, and spirals such 
as our own galaxy are thought of as pe- 
destrian places. NGC 1097 shows that 
spirals are not always quiet. Their centers 
may resemble interstellar speedways. DO 


" J: ■-'«... *>wl 


1. Life expectancies are greatest in Swe- 
den— 72 years for men, 77 for women, The 
United States, with expectancies of 68 and 
75, respectively, does not. even rank among 
the top ten nations on this measure. 

2. Sponge. A black Seychelles tortoise (a 
species now extinct) was captured in the 
Seychelles Islands in 1776 and was 
housed in an artillery barracks on the is- 
land of Mauritius. There it lived until 1918, 
when, seemingly in excellent health, it fell 
through a gun emplacement and died — 

- 152 years after its capture. At capture, the 
tortoise was already an adult, making its 
final age at least 170, perhaps more. This is 
the longest documented life-span of any 
vertebrate animal. Still, the invertebrate 
sponge lives much longer. Sponges have 
no known life-spans and, theoretically. 
could be immortal. A red sponge may be 
plucked, ground up, diluted, and forced 
through a handkerchief into a mist of tiny 
specks, clouding the water in its aquarium, 
but by the next day or so it will have re- 
formed into a new sponge, shaped exactly 
as it was before. 

3. Sperm. The Red Cross stores refriger- 
ated blood only three weeks; after that it 
goes to laboratories for research. Sperm 
lasts much longer. Healthy, normal babies 
have resulted from artificial impregnations 
with sperm that had been stored frozen for 
as long as 13 years. The real storage limit is 
probably much higher; Bull sperm frozen 
as long as 25 years has produced healthy, 
normal calves. 

4. Bat Rats live only up to 6 years, but bats 
can live 20 years or longer. 

5. Pekingese. It is a general rule in animals 
that larger species live longer than smaller 
ones, but this rule is reversed in dogs. A 
Pekingese has a potential life-span of 20 
years; a fox. terrier, 16 years; and a Saint 
Bernard, 14 years. 

6. Housefly. The average life-span of 
houseflies runs between 20 and 30 days. 
There is record of an extremely sheltered fly 
thai lived to be 70 days old. If you said the 
mayfly lives longer, give yourself credit only 
if you meant to include its larval stage— in 
which it may live up to three years before it 
blossoms into full adulthood as a fly. But 
when the big day arrives, things happen 
last. With no functional mouth or stomach, 
the adult mayfly has no lime for eating: It 
has only seven or eight hours left in its lite to 
mate, lay its eggs, and die. 

7. Black hole. According to Stephen Hawk- 
ing, the Cambridge University physicist, a 
black hole with the mass of our sun can be 
expected to be around for 10 54 x 20 billion 
years, the present age of the universe. By 
tag OMNI 

contrast, our sun is a medium-sized star 13. Pencil. A hard pencil can draw a line 

whose estimated lite-span is 10 billion more than 30 miles long. The Jumbo refill 

years. It is presently thought to be 4 billion for a ball-point pen may be rated up to 

to 5 - billion years old. 10,000 teet {less lhan two miles ot writing). 

8. The Venusian day is longer. It takes 
Venus 246 Earth days to rotate once on its 
axis. Jupiter, despite its massive size, is 
spinning like a lop. It makes one complete 
rotation in jusl 0.41 Earth day— about ten 
Earth hours. Jupiter rotales taster lhan any 
other planet in our solar system. 

9. Oak. The life-span of a red maple tree is 
a mere 1 10 years; a sugar maple rarely lives 
past 275 years. A white oak may live nearly 
twice as long: It has an expected life-span 
of 450 years. 

10. Paper wrap. Meat kept unfrozen in the 
refrigerator should be loosely wrapped to 
allow il to "breathe," Kendig and Hutton 
say. Air circulation keeps the outside of the 
meat dry and inhibits bacterial growth. A 
snug plastic wrap or aluminum toil inhibits 
this partial surface drying, causing bac- 
teria to multiply faster. There are some 
oxygen-impregnated wrapping papers 
that release their oxygen to the meat, in- 
creasing its life-span, Cooked meat should 
not be placed in the refrigerator un- 
til it has cooled to room temperature, since 
condensation will form inside the wrap- 
ping, spawning bacteria. Also, if the meat 
is^stillhot, it will raise :'~\e:e^oe r atute of the 
refrigerator and everything in it, decreasing 
the lite-span of other foods. 

11. Bread. Lettuce lasts three to eight days 
in the refrigerator. Rinse, dry, and store let- 
tuce in a plastic bag. Head e:5uce can be 
freshened by cutting a slice from the bot- 
tom and setting the head in cold water. 
Never store lettuce near pears, plums, ap- 
ples, tomatoes, or avocados, for the fruits 
give off a gas that can cause the lettuce to 
develop brown spots. Bread may be kept 
up to five days at room temperature, two 
weeks in the refrigerator, and three to six 
months in the freezer. Thawed bread stales 
faster than fresn oread. Storing bread in the 
refrigerator may inhibit moid growth, but the 
cold makes bread dry out very quickly; 
put bread in the fridge only when hot 
weather demands it, and only for limited 
periods of time. 

12. A carnation. It lasts up to two weeks; 
fresh-cut roses stay fresh an average of 
seven to ten days. Flowers purchased from 
a florist last an average of two to three days 
less because n too-, that long tor them to be 
shipped to the shop. Cut flowers kept out of 
water will die quickly, but if they are thor- 
oughly watered and refrigerated just before 
being displayed, they will wilt more slowly. 
The reason; Flowers go into shock if they 
are accustomed to a plentiful supply of wa- 
ter, which is then suddenly cut off. After 
refrigeration it takes a while before the 
process of degeneration catches up with 
the trauma of a waterless ex stonco. 

14. Aluminum cans. As garbage, these 
containers last a long time, but not forever. 
Plastic bags will last 10 to 20 years; plastic 
jars and bottles, between 50 and 80 years. 
Those aluminum cans, however, won't de- 
teriorate appreciably for nearly a century. 

15. Footballs. Game balls in the National 
Football League have shod ife-spans. Be- 
cause the home team is required to provide 
24 new balls for each game, and because 8 
to 12 of these balls are actually used — and 
then discarded, given away, or sent to the 
practice field — a ball could be said to last 
about six minutes of playing time. The life of 
a hockey puck is even shorter. The New 
York Rangers, ol Ihe Nalional Hockey 
League, may use 40 pucks a game (an 
effective life-span of 1.5 minutes each). But 
■ n baseball it is not uncommon for 100 or 
more balls to be used in a single game. 

16. Equal. Home plate in Yankee Stadium 
lasts just about as long as a basketball net 
in Madison Square Garden; Each is 
changed twice a year. 

17. Copyrights. A U.S. patent gives an in- 
ventor exclusive rights to his invention in 
the United States for 17 years, a term that is 
not renewable. According to the revised 
copyright law, anything created or pub- 
lished after January 1,1978, belongs to the 
author for the rest of his life plus 50 years 
after thai unless he signs specific rights 
over to the publisher. Creations copyright- 
ed before that date are' protected for 28 
years from the lime of first publication, with 
the possibility of renewal after that period 
for 47 years more, giving a total copyright 
life-span of 75years. 

18. Srnokey the Bear. Oswald was twenty- 
four when he died in 1963. Smokey the 
Bear symbol of the National Park Service, 
died on November 9, 1976, at age 26. 

Scoring; Which Lasts Longer 

Based on 17 scorable items (#16 was a 

15-17; Excellent. "Not marble, nor the 
gilded monuments of princes, shall outlive 
this powerful rhyme. " 

William Shakespeare 
13-14; Very Good. "The world's a bubble, 
and the life of man/Less than a span." 

— Sir Francis Bacon 
10-12; Good. "Life is an end in itself, and . 
the only question as !c whether it is worth 
living is whether you have enough of it. " 

-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

8-9; Fair. "Life isn't all beer and skittles." 

— Thomas Hughes, in Tom Browis 

School Days 

0- 7; Poor. "Life is short; live it up." 

-NikitaS. Khrushchev DQ 

A maddening toy and 
a new quiz: it's about time 

By Scot Morris 

"People became infatuated with the 
puzzle and ludicrous tales are told of 
shopkeepers who neglected to open their 

stores Pilots are said to have wrecked 

their ships, engineers rush their trains past 
stations and business generally became 
demoralized. " 
— Sam Loyd, describing (he impact of his 
15 Puzzle, all the rage in 1873 


A remarkable new mathematical toy has 
been driving people to distraction in 
recent months. It promises to become 
more widespread than Instant Insanity. 
Master Mind, and Piet Hein's Soma Cube. 
Perhaps even more popular than Sam 
Loyd's 15 Puzzle, introduced more than a 
century ago, which is still in novelty stores 
today the toy has been sold as the "Magic 
Cube" in Europe for almost two years. 
Ideal Toys is marketing it in the United' 
States as "Rubik's Cube." 

II ever there was a toy that deserves a 
by-line, this is it. Erno Rubik is a sculptor, 
architect, and design instructoratthe 
Academy of Design, in Budapest, 
Hungary. The thirty-six- year-old professor 
invented his cube about five years ago. 

The cube (below) appears to be made 
up of 27 smaller subcubes. When you first 
receive it, each of its six laces (each 

consisting of nine subcube faces) is a 
single color. Enjoy this pleasing symmetry 
while it lasts, because youmay never see 
it again once you start to play with the 
puzzle. It is possible to twist each of the 
cube's six faces around its center. The 
illustration at right shows the top face 
(consisting of nine subcubes colored red 
on their topmost sides) beginning to 
rotate. From the starting-position it would 
be possible to rotate the yellow face, or the 
green face, or any of the three unseen 
faces (colored blue, white, or orange). 

After four random twists the colors are 
so confused (as in the illustration on next 
page, lower left) that it is very difficult to 
restore the cube to its original condition. If 
you can manage to get even one face 
back to a single color in 20 minutes, you 
are doing well. Then it becomes more 
frustrating: To get a second face backioa 
single color, every twist seems to destroy 
irrevocably the first face. 

Ideal advertises Rubik's Cube as having 
."Over 3 billion combinations— just one 
solution." The slogan is a considerable 
understatement. Actually, according to 
British mathematician David Singmaster, 
the number of different color patterns 
is in the quintillions. It is precisely 

Solving the puzzle requires developing 
a strategy, or algorithm, to restore any 
randomized cube. Several methods have 
been devised. Two years ago a few 
mathematicians specializing in group 
theory were able to restore a cube in less 
than five minutes with a maximum of 
between 150 and 200 moves. By last fall, 
a110-move'method had been discovered, 
and just recently a 41-move solution was 
announced. Since the cube can be 
randomized in just four or five twists, it 
would seem there is still room for im- 
provement in the solutions. 

Those who are mechanically minded 
may be more puzzled by the internal 
mechanism of the cube than by restoring 
its color symmetry. How does the thing 
work? As you twist the faces in every 
direction, each tiny subcube becomes 
separated from its original neighbors, and 
yet the cube never falls apart. How can 

such an object be made? I don'l know 
anyone who, after examining a cube, has 
successfully "reinvented" the mechanism 
that is inside. All who have seen the actual 
workings agree it is a truly brilliant piece of 
three-dimensional engineering. 

For many months I had one cube and 
wondered how it worked. When I got a 
second cube, I decided to sacrifice the 
first to satisfy my curiosity. With a butcher 
knife, a screwdriver, and a hammer, I set to 
work, determined to chop it in half, if 
necessary, to get at the innards. After 
discovering the cube's innermost secrets, 
I was surprised to find that my anti- 
intellectual solution had not destroyed it at 
all, and I was easily able to replace all the 
subcubes and restore the puzzle to 
working order. 

I'll leave the reader with the exercise 
of deriving a hypothetical mechanism, 
which could be inside Rubik's Cube, that 
would allow it to behave as it does. (Hint: It 
isn't rubber bands.) Next month we'll show 
you what actually is inside, and we'll tell 
you how a cube can be opened easily 
without resorting to my Cro-Magnon 
tactics. Be forewarned: If you take one of 
these apart and then reassemble the 
pieces randomly, you'll have exactly a 
one-in-twelve chance of doing it correctly. 
That is, in 11 tries out of 12, you will put the 
pieces back in in an arrangement that has 
a different parity than the original start 

position,, and no amount of twisting will 
ever restore the cube. The possibilities ior 
cheap practical jokery are obvious. 

The property called parity (from per- 
mutation mathematics) played a big part 
in the promotion of Sam Loyd's original 15 
Puzzle. Loyd offered $1 ,000 lo anyone 
who could arrange the 15 sliding squares 
in serial order, 1 - 15, as shown in the 
illustration at far right. In the marketed 
version ail numbers were arranged 
correctly, except the 14 and 15 in the 
bottom row were reversed. Loyd's money 
was safe. Of [he more than 20 trillion 
conceivable arrangements of the 1 5 
squares, it turns out that exactly half could 
be achieved from his starting position. The 
remaining half, including the one the prize 
was for, have an opposite parity- and are 
impossible. If the 14 and 15 (or any other 
two squares) were lifted ou! of the box and 
exchanged by hand, however, all of the 
ten-trillion-odd arrangements that had 
previously been possible would now be 
impossible, and vice versa. Loyd's $1 ,000 
was never claimed. Loyd was never able. 
to patent the puzzle because a "working 
model" of the solution had to be filed with 
the Patent Office. Since the puzzle: was 
impossible, Loyd had no prototype. 

Rubik holds a patent on his cube and 
is paid, through his Hungarian manu- ■ 
faclurers, for every cube sold to ideal. 
His cube may have as long a life as Loyd's 

15 Puzzle. Those "ludicrous tales" of 
people beino. driven to insanity are 
beginning to come in. Business hasn't 
become "demoralized" as yet, but there 
are reports of cubists missing their, 
subway stops and neglecting appoint- 
ments, classes, and jobs. We await the 
first divorce suit in which Rubik is named 
as corespondent. 

For an exhaustive mathematical treatise, 
"Nofes on the 'Magic Cube'," send S3 to 
David Singmaster. Polytechnic of ihe 
South Bank, London, SE1 0AA, England. 

"The depressing thing is that this 
loudmouth bird is going to outlive me. " 

— Owner of. a white-naped South 
American parrot 

What's the longest human life-span? 
There are frequent news stories about a 
one-hundred-thirty-year-old still as spry as 
■a ninety-year-old, but most such claims 
cannot be substantiated by birth records. 
The record for the longest documented 
human life-span is currently held by 
Shigechiyo Izumi, who was still living in 
Japan at press time and who turned one 
hundred fifteen on June 29. 

Questions about how long people and 
animals live are often answered by wild 
guesses based on unreliable data and a 
dash of folklore. Finally, there is a book that 
sets Ihe. record straight on the longevity of 
everything — from tortoises to hockey 
pucks, from black holes to bologna io 
dreams. Frank Kendig, former executive 
editor of Omni, and Richard Hutton, a 
free-lance writer, have published. a. com- 
pilation of answers in Life-spans — Or How 
Long Things Last (Holt, Rinehart and 
Winston, Copyright 1980 by Frank Kendig 
and Richard Hutton). 

This quiz is based on the book. For each 
pair of items, underline the one that lasts 
longer. Answering and scoring: page 126. 

2. A tortoise or a Sponge? 

Human blood or human sperm (in 
preservation out of the body)? 

A bat or a rat? 

A Pekingese or a Saint Bernard? 

A housefly or a mayfly? 

A black hole or our sun? 

A day on Venus or a day on Jupiter? 

A maple tree or an oak tree? 

Beefsteak wrapped snugly in foil 

(or plastic) or beefsteak wrapped 

loosely in paper? 
. Lettuce or bread? 
. A rose or a carnation? 
. A pencil or a ball-point pen? (Which 

can write ihe longest line?) 
. Aluminum cans, or plastic bottles (time 

to deteriorate as garbage)? 
. A hockey puck or a football (consider 

their effective life-spans in 

professional sports)? 
. Home plate in Yankee Stadium or 

a basketball net in Madison Square 

. A patent or a copyright? 
. Lee Harvey Oswald orthe original 

iswerson page 126. 


By David E. H. Jones ■ 
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